Most of us take color for granted. It’s one of the most important features we use to describe how things look, but you’ll probably go blank if you try to describe what makes something green. If you’ve ever had that classic debate about whether “my red is your red”, you’ve probably realized that when you try to describe something from your own visual perception, any comparison you make is… also from your visual perception.

That sounds slightly confusing already, so let’s talk about how we can describe colors, or at least try to. Recently, someone started a Twitter thread asking how to explain colors to a blind person who has absolutely no visual reference. Some of the resources that rolled in, like a blog post from someone who was born with no light perception and gained it surgically later in life, and a children’s book describing color through raised print and similes, are fascinating and poetic.

Someone found a post about how a blind person had colors described to her

Image credits: tarrrj

Image credits: The Cut

Image credits: The Cut

Image credits: The Cut

The post reminded Twitter users of other pieces of writing they had seen

Image credits: heckdgehog

Image credits: bubbumbubblegum

Image credits: heruntoldstories

One commenter makes a great point, though: that our emotional associations with color are subjective, as is color symbolism from one culture to another. For years, designers have had to be careful with the colors that they use to market products internationally, because while a fiery color like red may put people in high spirits in the West, someone from a Middle Eastern culture that considers red a warning sign would probably think of it with apprehension.

Commenters appreciate the writing but doubt it’s possible to describe colors objectively

Image credits: _muslimah_h

Image credits: KarolineAnukhet

Image credits: PinkTingz

The abstract nature of the descriptions struck a chord with some commenters who tried their hand at writing their own. Some of them are pretty relatable—if you live somewhere far north, you’re probably having a lot of grey days right now—while some people went wild with the format and ventured into absurdity and parody.

Here are how some commenters would describe colors, for better or worse