Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Purple is this year's red

I was watching The West Wing last week (new episodes), and realized that Toby's new assistant, the short and annoying blonde with the funny voice, is Kristin Chenoweth, the originator of the role of Glinda, in Wicked. I only realized this when somebody on the show asked her for fashion advice, and she said something very Glinda, such as, "black is this year's pink."

Here's more "education news" from CNN.com: Teachers no longer prefer to use red ink when grading papers, because it sends a message of negativity. They prefer to use purple, which is less harsh on the students' fragile egos.

Some excerpts:

[Joseph Foriska, principal of Thaddeus Stevens Elementary in Pittsburgh] has instructed his teachers to grade with colors featuring more "pleasant-feeling tones" so that their instructional messages do not come across as derogatory or demeaning.

Three top pen and marker manufacturers -- Bic, Pilot Pen and Sanford, which produces Papermate and Sharpie -- are making more purple pens in response to rising sales.

"The human eye is notoriously fickle and is always searching for something new to look at it," [Leatrice Eiseman, a color specialist with a background in psychology] said. "If you use a color that has long been used in a traditional way, you can lose people's attention, especially if they have a history of a lot of red marks on their papers."

Purple may be rising in popularity, Eiseman said, because teachers know it is a mix of blue and red. As she put it: "You still have that element of the danger aspect -- the red -- but it's kind of subtle, subliminal. It's in the color, rather than being in your face."

"I don't think changing to purple or green will make a huge difference if the teaching doesn't go along with it," [reading and writing specialist Janet] Jones said. "If you're just looking at avoiding the color red, the students might not be as frightened, but they won't be better writers."

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