Re: virus: 200 words for snow

John ''!Boolean'' Williams (
Wed, 04 Jun 1997 23:22:04 -0400

At 11:28 AM 6/4/97 -0600, David did not write, but instead citied an
article which said:

>Researchers have studied color perception across different
>linguistic groups to find support for the Whorfian hypothesis
>(Berlin & Kay, 1969; Heider, 1972; Heider & Oliver, 1973; Miller
>& Johnson-Laird, 1976; Rosch, 1974). The evidence indicates that
>people of all cultures perceive colour in the same way. The
>tentative conclusion is that language does not determine the way
>that people think...

This contradicts a study cited by Dr. Sacks in "An Anthropologist on Mars,"
which indicated that perception of color was a cultural phenomenon. Whether
language actually effects the physical act of perception, I have
experienced how it affects intellectual interpretation of reality; ie, when
did not pay attention to colors as much, things were red or blue or brown.
Now they are percentages of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, or mixtures
of Red, Green, and Blue. Presumably, if I get involved in magazine
publishing where they use solid inks, I'll be able to identify shades of
yellow by their Pantone numbers, whereas before they may have just been

So where I can see the "200 words for snow" as being a little exagerated,
there are quite a few names for the color yellow -- depending on who you
speak to.

John Williams ICQ Address: 1213689
"See my loafers? Former gophers!"
Various Artists: Raising the Tide of Mediocrity for Two Years