the green room

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the green room

Post by Archived Topic » Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:08 pm

in broadcasting tv and radio why is the guest room called the green room. there not all painted green
jason addams jax fl
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the green room

Post by Archived Reply » Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:22 pm

In early television, mostly live broadcasts, the guests waited offstage untill their time to come on. At RCA's TV outlets "NBC" the rooms were painted in green tint, because of the Masters and Johnson study on human sexuality, which found the color green told people to"go forth and give it your best shot!" no doubt the same reason that a green light means "GO!"
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the green room

Post by Archived Reply » Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:37 pm

according to M & J: Red ment "stand still" Black "surrender" White "virgin" Blue "Royal" and brown ment "next page" (go figure).
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the green room

Post by Archived Reply » Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:51 pm

Jason, Here's what ‘Facts on File’ had to say:

FACTS ON FILE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WORD AND PHRASE ORIGINS

GREENROOM: The lounge in the theater where performers rest when they aren’t on stage, or where people who are to appear on TV wait before they go on, probably takes its name from such a room in London’s Drury Lane Theater, which just happened to be painted green sometime in the late 17th century. Most authorities reject the old story that the room was painted green to soothe the actors’ eyes.
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Ken G – September 26, 2003
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Green room / blue room

Post by Quoc » Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:00 am

Hi,

I always see green room and blue room. Could you tell me the difference in meaning btw two terms? Is there red room, yellow room....?

Quoc
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Green room / blue room

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:28 am

Although you have not said so explicitly, I am assuming that you are referring to these phrases in relation to the entertainment industry.

A blue room is a video and audio editing room in a theatre.

A green room is a room in a theatre, studio or other public venue that is used to accommodate performers or speakers when they are not appearing on stage.

As far as I know, 'red room' and 'yellow room' have no specific entertainment-industry meaning.
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Green room / blue room

Post by Quoc » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:47 am

Thanks,

You wrote:

A blue room is a video and audio editing room in a theatre.

What is the meaning of editing here? Is its meaning as in:
To edit a book ?

Quoc
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Green room / blue room

Post by dalehileman » Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:05 pm

...to assemble (as a moving picture or tape recording) by cutting and rearranging--Merriam Collegiate '73

A green room is also a gas chamber
A blue room is also an interrrogation room in a police station --Cassell's Dict of Slang
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Re: the green room

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:54 am

In last week's issue of Time I read the following greenroom-containing article, which, since it is relatively short (by my standards), I include it in its entirety (for foreground and background, of course):
<2009 “It's not easy dealing with liars. Or maniacs. And Kim Jong Il is a lying maniac--a bizarro fascist who breaks his promises and starves his people. It would be nice if we could just denounce him, isolate him, ignore him.

But it's hard to ignore a bully with a bomb, and while the Bush Administration was freezing him out and calling him evil, the Dear Leader was going nuclear. Then North Korean border guards seized Euna Lee and Laura Ling, two journalists from Al Gore's TV network. The ensuing clamor for their release raised compelling questions. (Aside from, Al Gore has a TV network?) Is it naive to talk to totalitarian whack jobs like Kim, as Hillary Clinton argued during the 2008 campaign? Or is it counterproductive to stick our fingers in our ears, as Barack Obama replied?

Clinton ended up as Obama's Secretary of State, so on Aug. 3, her husband Bill--no slouch in the high-stakes-diplomacy department--flew to Pyongyang to execute Obama's strategy. On Aug. 4, after meeting with Kim, he took Lee and Ling home to California.

The greenroom generals of the neoconservative movement cried appeasement, their instinctive reaction to contact with thugs who are not our thugs. But you don't have to be part of the bombs-away brigade to wonder whether we should be giving lying maniacs what they want. It isn't going to stop their lying or their mania, and it makes us look hypocritical.

But hypocrisy is part of diplomacy. Refusing to engage with vicious nutcases like Kim can feel virtuous, but tarring our enemies as irredeemable warmongers can be self-fulfilling. We can't wish North Korea off the map, and it's a good sign that Kim was rational enough to modify his behavior to get what he wanted; it's an even better sign that he wanted to talk to us. This week, at least, the saber rattlers who claim there's never anything to gain from talking to rogue states should tell that to the families of Euna Lee and Laura Ling.”—Time Magazine, 17 August, page 11>
Incidentally, this Time Magazine greenroom-containing article was written by Michael Grunwald (‘green forest’ in German if we ignore the missing umlaut on the ‘u’) and commented upon by yours truly of the bastardized German version by way of Hungary – that’s a lotta green!

Anyway, for a better discussion of the uncertain origin of GREEN ROOM / GREENROOM than I provided back in my above 2003 posting, see Michael Quinion’s excellent World Wide Words words article here.

Upon first seeing ‘GREENROOM GENERALS’ above, which I took to be a disparaging remark describing real generals who were in the waiting room and not where the action was, I got to wondering how many U.S. generals this could include. A retired general might have seen combat, so this wouldn’t be fair to him. And then how many neoconservative generals on active duty could there be? But then the light bulb finally went on and I realized that the GREENROOM GENERALS they were referring to were what are usually called ARMCHAIR GENERALS, which are not generals at all. And hey! That’s a pretty nifty variation. I like it!

I did a quick search and found no hits for GREENROOM GENERAL, so it's possible that good old Gruenwald just made it up himself.

For those unfamiliar with the expression ARMCHAIR GENERAL, I provide the following excellent description, which nicely nails it on the head:

PICTURESQUE EXPRESSIONS by Laurence Urdang

ARMCHAIR GENERAL: A person removed from a given situation who thinks he could do a better job of directing it than those actually in charge. Although the phrase armchair general did not come into popular usage until World War II, similar combination forms (armchair politician, armchair strategist, armchair critic) have been in existence since 1858, with armchair clearly connoting a position of comfort and relaxation, remote from the hurly-burly or pressures attendant on those who must act [[add armchair quarterback as a newer addition to the list]]. Consequentially, the term carries the negative implications of an ivory-tower theorizer, speculator, or academician—one ignorant of practical realities, and observer rather than a doer.
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My life wouldn’t be complete unless I provided a few quotes to illustrate how the expression is used – and it can’t be GREENROOM GENERAL because I couldn’t find any. So, what I take to be its synonym, ARMCHAIR GENERAL, will have to be its stand-in:
<1901 “A [[London]] circular . . . has the following with reference to . . . British Railways: . . . Much has been heard lately of American methods of working. Unattached railway managers, if one may judge from the columns of the newspapers, are as plentiful as the armchair Generals who can give points to Lord Kitchner [[British Field Marshal]].”—New York Times, 24 November, page WF4>

<1939 “Gort is far from an ‘armchair general.’ In the World War he won the Victoria Cross and in his four rows of decorations he wears the Distinguished Service Medal . . .”—Los Angeles Times, 18 October, page 3>

<1940 “One week last fall, many a U. S. armchair general, vicariously glorying in the dash and glamor of Stuart, Forrest and Sheridan, thought he saw cavalry go down forever with the evening sun.”— Time Magazine, 19 August>

<1945 “I have neither the background nor the training for a noncombat assignment, and I certainly have no desire to finish out the war as an armchair general.”—Los Angeles Times, 1 August, page 1>

<1964 “Goldwater Proposal to End Draft Sounds Like Stevenson’s in 1956: . . . Nobody except possibly the armchair general of middle age or older really likes the idea of grabbing our lads by the seat of the pants and hurling them into that rugged business called basic training.”—Los Angeles Times, 8 September, page A5>

<1987 “Let Congress set broad policy for defense spending, but not play armchair general or admiral.”— Washington Post, 7 January>

<2003 “He's [[Melbourne cabdriver]] turned the wireless down, keeping an ear cocked for breaking developments, but mostly he wants to talk about the war, and how it's going and where it's going wrong and what the Americans should be doing. He's an armchair general with a sheepskin seat cover.”—The Age (Melbourne, Australia), 6 April>

<2008 “Perhaps we can wage a different kind of culture war - and not one directed by armchair generals from church pews in Virginia.”—The Washington Times (Washington, DC) 21 July>

<2009 “Paul [[Yes, that Paul]] was no armchair general; he was out in the front lines, waging war against sin, and taking his share of suffering.”—Be Free: Exchange Legalism for True Spirituality by W. W. Wiersbe, page 160>
Ken G – August 20, 2009
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Re: the green room

Post by Shelley » Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:21 pm

Ken, maybe Grunwald was thinking of "green screen general". Part of chroma-key technology, green screen is what stands behind the person who, for example, is giving the weather report in front of what appears to be a moving map of the earth's storm patterns. When Jon Stewart wants you to believe that Samantha Bee is reporting to you live, on location from the election riots in Iran, for example, he puts her in front of (a) green screen playing actual footage from the Iran election riots (or generic middle east rioting footage).

So, it might be the modern version of armchair general: a person who purports to be in the middle of the action, when really that person is far away from it, like, -- on the other side of the planet, maybe.

Although it's possible he really meant "greenroom general" -- a performer who sits backstage -- I don't understand why he would choose that word when, as a writer for Time, he ought to be familiar with the phrase "armchair quarterback/general/whatever". Since it doesn't appear anywhere else, it seems like he came up with it while reaching for something else.
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Re: the green room

Post by John Barton » Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:03 pm

The first recorded use is in a play by Thomas Shadwell called The True Widow, first performed at Dorset Garden Theatre in London in December 1678: “No, Madam: Selfish, this Evening, in a green Room, behind the Scenes, was before-hand with me”. The use of a here might suggest it was just a green-painted room, but a slightly later example, in a book called Love Makes Man, written by the actor and dramatist Colley Cibber and published in 1701 makes the usage clear: “I do know London pretty well, and the Side-box, Sir, and behind the Scenes; ay, and the Green-Room, and all the Girls and Women Actresses there”. Colley Cibber was closely associated with a different theatre, the Drury Lane.
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Re: the green room

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:07 am

To read the excellent green room article from which John has quoted an excerpt, see the link to Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words in my above posting.
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Ken G – October 20, 2009
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