As written in to the action plan of my proposal for this project I visited the Evolving English exhibition at the British Library. I stipulated this as part of my research to provide background to the language aspect of the project. As I outlined in the proposal the essence of my project about how people talk about colour sits where the subjects of colour and language co-inside. Both are huge fields of study, with an already vast body of knowledge and research supporting them and while I indicated that I didn’t want to get preoccupied by the minutiae of colour theory or linguistics, I acknowledged that I needed to gain a good understanding of both areas to support the project. My trip to the British Library was part of this, and although there was no mention of colour in the exhibition, this quote from one of the displays was relevant to the problem of using language to describe colour:
“The purpose of language is to communicate, and effective communication requires a language that is understood by as many people as possible.”
I found this quote significant because there are many colour terms that are imprecisely used or completely misunderstood. Part of my own research will be an attempt to understand the nature of this issue.