General Question

Sakata's avatar

Honestly, what's the difference between GREY and GRAY?

Asked by Sakata (3332points) February 15th, 2009

Just want to clear this one up to get it out of my head.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

29 Answers

aprilsimnel's avatar

The Atlantic Ocean.

laureth's avatar

They are the same thing. It’s an example of the wide variation in spelling that occurred before the widespread use of mechanical printing tended to regularize things. (Shakespeare, for instance, uses different spellings of his name.) That word has just never been settled upon and the other form discarded.

hearkat's avatar

I use the British spelling, “grey”—I don’t know why, but I’ve always preferred it.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Just a couple of little letters apparently, depending on how technical you want to be.

grAy or grEy. I like em’ both.

Grisson's avatar

I know the real answer is cultural, but I always have a visual for words, and my ‘Grey’ is a cooler (bluer) grey than my ‘Gray’.

And my spelling of the word will actually depend on whether it’s a warm gray or a cool grey.

Sakata's avatar

@Grisson Yea, I suppose I look at it in somewhat the same way. But instead of warm & cool I use soft & hard. I feel that gray is softer than grey. No idea why though.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

grey is greener, kind of like washed up seaweed. Gray is paint on a canvas the color of steely eyes.


rooeytoo's avatar

I think it depends on which dictionary you use.

chyna's avatar

I heard a woman at my Drs. office say she had named her baby girl Gray. Not sure of the spelling though. I didn’t really like it for a first name. Seemed depressing, but that’s just me.

charliecompany34's avatar

grey is like earl grey tea. but gray is like an american uniform for baseball. apply the E or the A based on the geographic distinction where color is needed.

XCNuse's avatar

the difference is an E and an A

… did I get it right?? do i get a cookie????!!!

Vinifera7's avatar

I alway thought that “grey” was a color and “Gray” was a name. Or is it the other way around?

btko's avatar

Countries that follow British English use Grey, while countries that follow United States English use Gray.

AstroChuck's avatar

Mr. Webster is the person responsible for gray. The rest of the English speaking world spells it grey.
So think of it this way:
The colour grey.
The color gray.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

A friend named his son GREY. I prefer that spelling of the word, as GRAY seems wrong somehow. Of course, I had to train my Office program to recognize my spelling as the correct spelling. My Office Word programs has a lot of issues, as I often create my own words to describe things that there are no words for. The price of being creative, I guess.

augustlan's avatar

I use both, and think of grey as a softer color than gray. Silly, I know.

Jack79's avatar

I actually use the American spelling for this one, it’s probably the only exception for me.

steelmarket's avatar

1. Gray (grey) is one of those words that, if you say it enough, you begin to think, “This is a funny word”.

2. I am glad that my name is not Grey.

Monday mornings put me in a numbering mood.

amanderveen's avatar

Like btko said, “grey” is the Queen’s English spelling, “gray” is the American English spelling. I’m not sure why Americans decided to spell certain words differently (eg. grey/gray, colour/color, recognise/recognize, etc.). Maybe it was just another way of asserting their independence?

Wikipedia has something to say about the issue.

ella's avatar

@chyna jennifer garner’s character in “catch & release” was named ‘Gray’ and engaged to a guy named ‘Grady’ (which i thought was odd…)

YARNLADY's avatar

Grey = gray

SeventhSense's avatar

Alex grey is quite colorful

mammal's avatar

the nuances and Différance in the shading is significant

Strauss's avatar

@Sakata If you want to get it out of your head, don’t pull it out. Eventually they will all be that color and you will be bald!

Meribast's avatar

I was told (American here) that gray is the color and Grey is a name. But the difference in American English and British English is more plausible to me.

samanthabarnum's avatar

It’s merely cultural. In Canada, some people use grey, some gray, even though they all use honour instead of honor and colour instead of color. In Europe, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who spells it the American way.

From what I understand of it, Americans in their rebel days decided that they wanted to set themselves apart from Britain, and started spelling things differently to achieve that, which is why we have the spelling differences we have today.

bea2345's avatar

What about gaol and jail? Same difference.

graynett's avatar

Nobody would know me if I was called greynett sounds like a Bus or a dog! { “O” now I know}

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