I’ve wondered about the difference between black and white and monochrome, terms that seem to be used interchangeably. However, as I researched, I found out that’s only partially true. The differences and similarities are the same as those between Scotch and whisky/whiskey. Grab your glass and read along.

Grammerly points out the differences in the spelling of this type of alcohol:

Whisky (no e) refers to Scottish, Canadian, or Japanese grain spirits. Whiskey (with an e) refers to grain spirits distilled in Ireland and the United States.

Now if you picture the drink, no matter the spelling, as the large circle of a Venn diagram (Dan, I know you would draw this but I don’t know how to do it online). Scotch whisky (not wiskey) is made only in Scotland while adhering to certain laws. So Scotch is a small circle inside that large whisk(e)y one. Bourbon whiskey (not whisky) is made in the US and mostly from corn, so that’s a separate small circle in the large circle making up whisky/whiskey. So large whisk(e)y circle with small Scotch and bourbon circles inside it but not overlapping each other.

SO…all Scotch is whisky but not all whisk(e)y is Scotch and all bourbon is whisky but not all whisk(e)y is bourbon AND Scotch and bourbon aren’t the same.

Now I’ll cut to the chase, hoping you’re still enjoying this. All black and white (the Scotch or bourbon of photography) is monochrome, an image composed of one color (the whisky/whiskey of photography and the big Venn diagram circle.) But any image composed of one color that isn’t black and white (or the more accurate term “grayscale”) is monochrome. All black and white/greyscale (small circle) is monochrome (big circle) but all monochrome is not black and white.

So if anyone asks you the difference between black and white and monochrome, you can tell them black and white is Scotch, while monochrome is whisk(e)y. That should start a lively conversation. And that means my photos over the next few days are whisk(e)y, Scotch, and greyscale. Cheers or Slàinte mhath in Scottish. pronounced slan-ge-var. Go figure.

P.S. Today I’m taking my parents to get theirs (and my) second Covid vaccination shots (Moderna.) Tomorrow I’m taking my husband to get his first shot. These are blessings!! Hopefully we’ll have no side effects, but both mornings will be full so if I don’t get to your post right away, my apologies. You know I’ll always be back. 🙂

  1. Black and white or monochrome….. which ever way its the same! Glad you can get your second shot already Janet! Don’t know when we will start…

  2. my, my Janet 😀 LOL Glad you are getting your shots ❤

  3. I hope you have no reactions other than a sore arm. Drive safely!

  4. Hmmmm … Oddly, I got the whiskey references but couldn’t connect it to photography. Oh well … I’ll have to return for additional pondering. Cheers to the vaccines! I got #2 last week (Pfizer) and my wife gets JNJ Friday. FYI: Bones is Thursday.

    • I had to think about the bones on Thursday thing because I was thinks of the show “Bones” on tv and wondering about the connection.

      As far as the whiskey/photography connection, it’s simply the last bits: all Scotch is whisky but not the opposite and all B&W is monochrome but not the opposite. 😉

  5. ladysighs says:

    Good news about your parents etc getting the vaccine. Still waiting for the call.
    The black and white reminded me of old black and white movies. I don’t like it when they color them and I see the remake on TV.

    • Probably too much information but I’ve always found the Scotch-whisky thing fun and when I realized it applied to B&W, I couldn’t resist. 🥰

  6. Dan Antion says:

    I’m glad you worked bourbon into the mix, because I stopped drinking scotch years ago. I did recently use whiskey in a post. I am glad to see that I used the right one. I would not want to be on the outside of that diagram, looking in. I would have added a diagram, but it might have scare have your readers away – this worked well.

    • I realize I could have made a diagram and photographed it, then put it in the post Not sure most people were interested in the Scotch angle, but it worked for me so I went with it. 🙂

  7. Resa says:

    You’ll be back, with Scotch and Whiskey!
    So great to hear about vaccinations. An acquaintance who worked for me for years, died from Covid yesterday.
    It’s getting too, close to home!

    • Oh, so sorry to read that, Resa! My uncle did get Covid and he died, but I don’t know that that was the primary cause and he WAS 93 or 94 and in bad shape already.

      • Resa says:

        My acquaintance was 50.
        The virus doesn’t care.
        So sorry about your uncle!

      • He was ready to go, so it was in its way a blessing. My parents and I got our second shots this morning and haven’t had any reaction worse then a slightly sort upper arm. Thankful for that!

      • Resa says:

        Lucky you!
        I’m slated to get a shot at the top of June.
        Good old limp along Canada!

      • I was fortunate first of all to get our first appointment a month ago and then to find that even though it’s a half hour plus away, it was run perfectly by lovely, competent people and I told that to everyone of them today that I came in contact with. We walked in, got our shot immediately, sat for half an hour because my parents are on blood thinners, then left. The first shot took a shade longer but not much. There was plenty parking, restrooms if needed, and couldn’t have been better. There have been so many nightmare stories that I feel blessed to have found this place.

      • Resa says:

        YAY! I’m so happy for you!!

      • Thanks, Resa. 😘

  8. Eha says:

    Your post has just provided a lot of knowledge I should actually have had before !! I am a wine gal and have been all my life . . . and perchance cognac or a good gin for a G&T with friends .. . . ‘whisky’ certainly enters the arena but I realize I may have oft been guilty of misspeling because of ignorance !!! Well Scottish single malts oft in which case it is ‘whisky’ but, oh so love Irish coffee which seems to be ‘whiskey’ !!! Now i know . . . . bourbon – thank you, well not for me . . . Hope the jabs go well . . . Australia is months behind but we have not had a single death in as long, so . . . being allergic to most chemicals have selected to have the Astra Zeneca as most suitable . . . a few more months ere . . . best . . .

    • I love wine too. What do you like? I tend to prefer reds but in the Arizona summer, I have to go with white or rosé.

      Hopefully it won’t be. Too long until you can get vaccinated.


  9. de Wets Wild says:

    You almost had my head spinning, Janet! Looking forward to more of these!

    And best wishes to everyone in your family receiving their jabs.

    • Thanks and thanks. All went well yesterday, no bad reactions. Today I’ll drive my husband to get his first shot and usually there aren’t reactions to the first one, but it will be great for him to get the protection even one shot affords. Are people there getting vaccinated?

      • de Wets Wild says:

        That’s great news!
        Here only health workers, and prominent politicians, have received vaccines so far. The plan is to start vaccinating the most vulnerable people in the general population from next month.

  10. StillWalks says:

    Great thoughts to mull over 😊

  11. Su Leslie says:

    I’m really glad you and your parents have had both shots. Hopefully your husband’s vaccinations will go smoothly too.

    • His first went well but it’s usually the second that causes more reactions. I’m so glad to have mine done and once he gets his second he’ll feel better about doing more, which will be nice. We want to find a new church, so that will be good. I plan to go to the library today, first time in over a year, even though only part of it is open. I love being able to access e-books, but I miss real books and browsing (which is limited, too, I think.) What would have thought a year ago that getting vaccinated and going to the library would be so special? 🙂