Gray vs. Grey

Difference Between Gray and Grey

Two words that often cause confusion among all kinds of readers are ‘gray’ and ‘grey’. One difference between two though is that the term ‘gray’ originated in America, whereas ‘grey’, the older of the two, came from England. Still, the two words mean exactly the same thing.

It’s been recorded that the word ‘grey’ was how the color was originally called and spelled by the British during the 20th century. This way of spelling was also taken up by the Canadians, making the English ‘grey’ more popular.

Linguists agree that the word ‘grey’ conveys a positive connotation, while the American ‘gray’ connotes gloom and dullness. The modern world, however, has come to prefer using gray replacing grey as the more popular way of spelling the word. Still, both are considered correct and, in actuality, convey the same meaning.

Gray and grey describe the color between or combination of black and white. Mixing white and black paint usually gives you a shade of gray. The words gray and grey are interchangeably used to describe animals and objects that possess the color. In certain instances they are even used as adjectives describing a day or mood. On these occasions, grey or gray means gloomy or dull, such as when we say ‘He’s in a gray mood’ when someone feels down or sad. Sometimes gray or grey is also used to describe something unclear or undefined, such as the gray areas of a map.

Another interesting fact about the word ‘gray’ is that it’s also utilized as an SI unit for energy, abbreviated as ‘Gy’ and was named such in honor of Louis Harold Gray; a British radio biologist.

When it comes down to it, the two words only differ in spelling and how they originated. But they are both considered correct and basically mean the same thing.

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