6. Color terms between elegance and beauty. The verbalization of color with textiles and cosmetics

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The paper investigates formation and use of color designations in two specialized areas: textiles and cosmetics, lipsticks in particular. Whereas language users in everyday communication apply easily available basic terms such as <i>red </i>or <i>blue</i>, the chemical industry and paint manufacturers have developed highly differentiated systems of color designations, either lexically or numerically. Equally differentiated systems are found with the color names for textiles and cosmetics: ample use is made of the property of color names being ‘nameables’, practically every lexeme or collocation of lexemes of the language system of a speech community can be used to designate a color or a shade of color. An attempt is made to classify this extensive use of color designations. Further, the use of color names for textiles by language users is discussed: the oral use by customers or the written use in catalogues, as well as recent trends in fashion catalogues to replace language by high quality photography. Finally questions of the saleability of products and psychological aspects of customer behavior have been considered.


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