There’s an old joke that goes like this:

“What rhymes with purple?”
“No it doesn’t.”

It’s a bit of a head-scratcher. But if you say it out loud a few times you’ll probably get it.

It’s just one more vexing element of the the color purple, by which I mean the actual color, not the award-winning book/movie. Gah, see, now I’m even more confused. Who knew one little slice of the visible light spectrum could cause such chaos?

Tumblr certainly did, as evidenced in this scholarly and ridiculous thread that starts off with a simple gripe about a classic poem:

“Roses are red, violets are blue…” is the start of a thousand mostly-joke oriented love poems, but have you ever actually looked at a violet?

They’re not blue. They’re…violet.

Or, in other words, purple. But that’s only our current word for that color.

There’s a historical context for these things, as another user points out.

Ah. So the poem comes from a time when purple wasn’t really a word yet.

Mystery solved.

Or is it?

Purple has been long-associated with royalty and wealth.

But the truth about its confusing usage is even more complicated than that, apparently.

Of course, there is a more simple hypothesis for why the poem rings false. Lots of things rhyme with “blue,” after all.

But just because there are no words in common usage that rhyme with purple, doesn’t mean there are no words at all.

And with that, @thesh^tpostcalligrapher was called in.

@thesh^tpostcalligrapher is someone who…makes calligraphy out of sh^tposts. And they were, luckily, perfectly happy to mark this occasion using their talents.

It’s beautiful, really. A true testament to the human ability to take something that’s annoying us and turn it into art.

What old sayings have always driven you crazy? Maybe we can get a whole new epic thread going about them.

Tell us in the comments.