Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It's 100% free, no registration required.

For example, a simple black and white color scheme may cause IQ to become low, while the good use of reds and oranges may raise it as much as 15 points.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

  • Why use "reds and oranges"?

    Plural colors refer to shades rather than a single color.

    See: Reds and Oranges.

  • If so, why not "blacks and whites"?

    "Black and White" is a set phrase in this context.

    From Google

    in black, white, shades of gray, and no other color.

    Also, it can be confusing.

share|improve this answer
    
again, love the way you explain! :) +1 Worth nothing Black and White is almost used as a set phrase (because of their high commonness?) –  Maulik V Apr 24 at 5:39
    
"black and white" is not always a set phrase. If the picture is literally only two colors (not shades of gray) then it might not be a set phrase. After all you could say "white and black" with the same effect. However if the phrase refers to a picture in shades of gray then it is a set phrase and not to be taken literally. Depends on the situation. –  D_Bester Apr 24 at 9:07
    
@D_Bester "black and white" is a set phrase that includes shades of grey due to old black and white tv. If people literally meant only black and only white, they will say as much: "black and white, no [shades of] grey", or use a different phrasing, like I said "only black and only white" earlier in this comment. –  Izkata Apr 24 at 13:09
    
@D_Bester I would use the term "monochrome" to refer to 'only black and white`, although the word would also appropriately refer to any single color used against a uniform background (like green or orange against black on an early computer monitor). I agree with Izkata on the use of "black and white" to include shades of gray. –  brichins Apr 24 at 15:50
    
I was merely trying to show that the term "black and white" can be used literally. A better example might be "I painted my room black and white." In this case I don't think you would expect shades of gray. –  D_Bester Apr 24 at 21:28

There is not much sense in saying whites and blacks, as generally each is thought to represent one color (at least metaphorically) with greys in between.

However, there are many shades of red and orange; there are warm reds and cool reds, bright reds, bright oranges, golden-oranges, etc.

So, black, white, reds and oranges.

share|improve this answer
8  
Unless of course you are shopping for paint, in which case there are 57 varieties of white :-) –  toandfro Apr 24 at 6:06

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.