Cindy posed a question of spelling the other day.
I know that "grey" is the British spelling (European?) and that "gray" is the American spelling. But somehow, when I see the words, I see two different shades of whatever-that-color-is-which-is-a-mixture-of-only-black-and-white. Somewhere on this internet thingie is an example of the two shades in question. Off to go look.....
Not too bad--about 30 minutes of searching.
Edited to add: I cannot get all my pictures to line up on the left--I've taken them out and reattached them, so I apologize for the resulting mish mosh below. Carry on
First of all, if grey has another color mixed in with it, then it's blue--steel grey is definitely spelled with an "e" in my world view.
Whereas if gray has another color mixed in with it, then it's brown--buff gray and some gray tweeds are spelled with an "a" in my world view.
Edna and I may think this is important, but I agree that after a while this level of discrimination is a little nutty. But here's the thing, I read "gray" as a typo if it's referring to the wrong color in my own little obsessive world view. And typos are jaeeing, I mean, jarring.
The other generality here is that for me, gray is darker than grey. (Although if faced with a light brown gray and a dark steel grey, I think I'd still categorize on tint rather than value.) To whit:
So now that I've convinced you that I am a nitpicking loony, I will say that I know exactly where this distinction comes from. It goes back to horses. Unless it was born white, all white horses were born dark and over time turned white. The mature horse is called a "grey" and the process is called "greying out."
And here is a gray horse greying. I can describe her as being a gray color, and to me that's somehow different than her being a "grey mare." Like I can talk about a "bay horse" having a lovely shade of mahogany across his flanks, but I'd never describe him as a mahogany horse.
I learned this distinction very young, and somehow my brain installed some sort of toggle switch which differentiates between grey and gray in all things.
And if I look at this Haley Bartlett image, then I see a gray rock in the foreground and a blue-grey sky and lake in the background.
Mind you, this hardly keeps me up at night; I can label the different shades in my head within a fraction of a second. But it is one of those mucho bizarre tidbits in my personality which takes longer to describe than to experience. Thanks for listening.