If you want to make a statement, wear purple.   Baron Davis
Royalty. Lavender. Eggplant. Amethyst. Grapes. Femininity. A book by Alice Walker. All of these are identified with the color purple. Purple symbolizes spirituality, mystery, meditation, inspiration, nostalgia and gloom. Throughout history, purple robes were worn by royalty and people in authority. This was because the rare occurrence of purple in nature made it one of the most expensive dyes ever created. The United States Military awards the Purple Heart to soldiers wounded in battle. Purple is the color of respect and honor.
And then there’s the “purple cow,” a phrase that refers to something remarkable, amazing, unique, eye-catching or unusual. Its genesis is the short nonsense poem, “The Purple Cow,” by American writer Gelett Burgess, published in the May 1895 issue of The Lark. I’m sure you’ve quoted it a time or two, especially when you were a kid.
I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.
The poem became extremely popular (“went viral,” in modern vernacular), eventually becoming what one commentator called “the most quoted poem in 20th-century America after ‘The Night Before Christmas.’” Many years after its publication, publicist Jim Moran appeared at Burgess’s home with a cow he had painted purple.
With stunts like that and a multitude of parodies penned by other writers, including O. Henry, it’s understandable that Burgess came to resent the poem’s popularity. In the final issue of The Lark, published in April 1897, he included this poem:
Ah, yes, I wrote the “Purple Cow,”
I’m sorry, now, I wrote it;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’ll kill you if you quote it!

Popularized by marketer Seth Godin, “Purple Cow” is now associated with a product that’s intrinsically different or a name that makes you stop in your tracks and wonder what it means.
A recipe that requires a mere one thousand sea snails.
Tyrian purple, also known as Phoenician purple, is a purple dye made from a secretion produced by several species of predatory sea snails. Named for Tyre, the Phoenician port city, the color is mentioned in many ancient writings. One of these references is in the Bible. Acts 16:14 records that a woman named Lydia from the city of Thyatira (Tyre) was a dealer in purple cloth. Remarkably, it takes 1,000 snails to dye just one cloak and 250,000 snails to make one ounce of Tyrian purple. With a process this complicated, this time-consuming, this outrageously expensive (Tyrian sold for 10 to 20 times its weight in gold), it’s no wonder the color was reserved for royalty and alternatively named “royal purple.”
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