I just read a friend’s conjecture, based on students’ writing preferences, that “grey” may soon be a more popular spelling than “gray.” My response was this: “Well, standing up for the peasant class and my own background and some of the past, I’ll stick with gray. Plain and sufficient!
“Grey” does have a slightly different connotation for me: Zane. Lady Jane. Anatomy. And fantasy realms. It suggests a paler and lighter (in weight) color. It’s nimble, and perhaps fickle. “Gray” is a dreary rain and a dreary day. It’s the color of the sky above the Mississippi near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and the fields between Dexter and Poplar Bluff in winter. It can be sluggish and ponderous, but also steady, sturdy, and reliable. I know “gray.” I can speak “grey” but not fluently.
(This is a repost from rmkinder.com.)