vermillion

Playing with vermillion

Over the last few weeks I’ve been offering up a weekly writing prompt and this week is no different. The challenge is to expand our vocabulary and think about what words mean to us. The one I’ve chosen this month is ‘vermillion‘ because it seems to symbolise the state the world has found itself in.

Merriam Webster tells us it is a vivid reddish-orange and a bright red pigment consisting of mercuric sulfide broadly any of various red pigments

I could use it to describe everything from the colour of a sunrise or sunset brilliantly reflecting the sun against the clouds and the atmosphere. I could also use it to describe a scene of bloody battles from the Napoleonic wars. Or I could use it to write marketing copy for the dentist, energy company or hotel that all use it as their brand name.

But vermillion is irrelevant to those who cannot see colour and sometimes you need to add context to a word that makes it come alive for those without that sense. To do so would depend on what I’m writing. If I’m writing about a sunset I might add warmth and depth, if I were writing about history I might add smell and stickiness, and if I were writing about my home I might describe it in the flickering flames of the fire I gaze into every evening when I’m hunkered down with a good book. Each of these will add weight to the way in which we use a word like vermillion.

Now it’s your turn. What does vermillion mean to you? What do you see when you close your eyes and open your imagination to the word?

(Image MiaKoncepto / 5 images)

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