I have worked in many language schools over the years, but have only painted one. It was a school in Rome, on Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, where the offices were on the ground floor and the classrooms on the fourth floor. The first February I was there, in 1995, there was very little work, so the owner employed me and two other teachers to give it a lick of paint. Brilliant white, if memory serves. I learnt the Italian for masking tape, among other things.
I’ve never been asked to paint OISE, which students past and present will know has its own strict colour scheme of Oxford blue (hex triplet #002147, contravened only in the banner of this blog, which astute readers will have realised is hex triplet #A3C1AD, or Cambridge blue).
All this comes to mind because I have spent the weekend painting the ceiling of a room in my house – Off-White, if you must know; it was a choice between Off-White, Joa’s White, Satin Slipper or Archive.
I suppose the names of colours as differentiated by paint companies are about the last bit of English a student of the language could need to know (or a native, for that matter). However, the names of real colours are another matter. I used to live with an oil-painter, and became familiar over the years with various chromes and cadmiums, madders and lakes, vermillions and ultramarines (many still in evidence as fingerprints on my cds).
I’ve posted this before, I think, but in the context of colour it bears a second look.