I should have known. The most common answer was blue. My pseudo-statistics claim that it comprised about 41% of the total, followed distantly by red (13%), green (9%), and black (8%), yellow (7%), grey (6%), and purple (5%). Other colors showed up as well in lesser numbers: white (3%), orange (2%), taupe (1%), mauve (1%), and puce (1%).
The most common non-answer was the famous line from Monty Python’s Holy Grail movie. The only problem is that the 13 people couldn’t agree on what the colors really were, though it looks like blue is probably the first of the two colors. As for the second color, it’s either red or yellow or maybe the character didn’t get to saying what it was. Interesting how everyone tried to render the scream into ASCII. I wonder if Unicode will be able to do that better. 🙂
Blue… No, Yellow. Ahhhhhhhh!!!
Red, no blue…Aaaaagggghhhhhh.
Blue…No, RED!!! (Copyright Monty Python)
Blue. No, yellow. AAAAAAaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!
Blue…no red! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Blue!…No, yellow! AAAAAAArrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!
Blue! No… Aaarrrggghh!
blue… no… AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………..
Red… no green AAAAAAaaaaaugghh…
Blue, no Red AAAUUUUGGGGHHH!!!
Blue, no yellow… Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhhhh!
A number of people were philosophically bothered by the question, as evidenced by these selections. Some answered anyway, others didn’t.
"Blue. But the usefulness of this one question to TidBITS beets me." [and I thought beets were red :-)]
"Sorry, that information requires a security clearance."
"Red. (Will this be used to weight my answer?)"
"Gray (is this a Monty Python question?)"
"I can’t imagine how you can correlate color to the rest… " [me either :-)]
"Skyblue (What is this for???)"
"For what fast food or fast cars?"
"What a silly question. Let’s upset the stats. I don’t have one." [oh no! the stats are invalid now! :-)]
"In the abstract, blue – depends on what it’s used for."
"This is obviously a trick question. Black & white, of course."
"More information is required here. Color in what context? Cars? -Ans: Red. Sky? -Ans: Blue. Screen background? -Ans: Tan (easy on the eyes)."
A number of people were also worried that the question had something to do with what sort of Mac they used.
"Blue… (but I’ve got a b&w monitor if that’s what you’re interested in…)"
"Red; but I don’t have a color Mac, if that’s what you’re after…"
"I have a lowly SE at work, a 1984 128K->1M at home."
"I don’t think this question is essential to me since everything on my Mac always appears black and white."
"Grey. Really. OK, maybe not really. Maybe only because I have a monochrome screen. OK, midnight blue."
As with any extremely personal question, when put on the spot, many people were indecisive.
"Today, black for gadgets, green for most other things – but I draw the line at green skin (except for insects & reptiles)"
"Don’t really know, if pushed maybe yellows & browns."
"Not a single one. I like good associations of two or more colors."
"It has changed many times over the years (from purple to green to black to blue) I think it’s probably blue now, although a sentimental spot is still held for purple."
"Light blue. Although, any sort of blue is really okay."
"Can I have two? Great. Green and orange. If I can only have one, then it’s green."
"This question always interests me, and I’m glad you asked. I don’t think I really have a favorite color, I think I can only like colors in some sort of context, for example "Does this tie go with these cufflinks?" and such. The condensed answer is Green."
"I never could decide."
And then there were the answers that made me really wonder…
"I don’t have one; I have a favorite number, 5."
"The Blues, up & down."
"I don’t have a favorite color. I am, however, very fond of the smell of violets."
"Nope, it ain’t taupe. How about cobalt blue?"
"Total black (I’m still waiting for a car in this color. The Dodge Stealth is not it. The NeXT may be. :-)" [When Steve Jobs came to Cornell, there was a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Cornell NeXT lab. During the question and answer session, someone asked him about the black color of the NeXTs. He said that they were actually a dark grey. Sorry.]
"Judging by my closet, grey. (What do you expect, I’m an accountant.)"
A number of people obviously remember their Crayola crayon boxes from childhood, to judge from some of these answers.