Name a Paper? Why Not! Yellow? Orange?

Okay. I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but laugh every time somebody “coins” a new word.

Follow along:

Here are some words:  White Paper–Green Paper– Grey literature.

We all hear the phrase “white paper” but I was curious as to how many people know what it means and what its origin was.

So of course, I went over to our standby, Wikipedia to see what they said.

Here you go:

white paper3

White Paperauthoritative report or guide informing in a concise manner about a complex issue and presenting the issuing body’s philosophy on the matter.

It goes on to say… meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.

Well, that might have been true when used supposedly beginning with 1922, in its originating country, Great Britain.

Now, it has a new meaning–and it is used in the business world…to put it bluntly, it’s used to market. No matter what they call it, it’s just another word for persuading people to buy your product and/or persuade them to see your point.

This began in the 90’s. I guess using it in this term makes it sound more sophisticated.


Green Paper… tentative government report of policy proposals and this term is used with the European Union, United Kingdom, us and a few more countries. This ‘green paper’ is presented and used for policy debates and proposals. (I’m paraphrasing)


Grey Literature…academic literature not formally published.


Well, thought I would just mention a few of these. If you are interested in looking into more in-depth meanings you can find a great deal more information than I did.

Today is just a trivia kind of day for me.










About Susan Reichert

Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine, a magazine for authors and people who love to read.We highlight and promote authors and their books. Married with four daughters. Live in the South. President of a Writers Group.
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1 Response to Name a Paper? Why Not! Yellow? Orange?

  1. Enjoyed your trivia.

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