I found a phrase “There is something more to life than an orange and black color scheme,” in the following lines of Time magazine’s (April 1) article titled, “My Advice to Princeton Women Grads.” - http://ideas.time.com/2013/04/01/my-advice-to-princeton-women-grads/#ixzz2PGP6KLdF

“Seriously. You have no idea what you have been missing. You know you’ve been tempted about a million times over the decades. You have long suspected that there is something more to life than an orange and black color scheme. You know there’s something unhealthy going on when every domestic dispute over say, that pesky budget, ends with “Rah!Rah! Rah! Rah! Tiger sis boom bah! And locomotives by the score.”

Is “There is something more to life than an orange and black color,” a popular saying or just the Princeton graduate author, Dominique Browning’s trope? Is ‘black and orange’ Princeton’s school color? What does it mean? What does orange and black color signify?


I think OP has slightly missed the point here.

The "idiomatic" component is there's [something] more to life than [blah blah].

The [blah blah] component varies according to context, but it's invariably something closely associated with whatever attitude/lifestyle the speaker is belittling/dismissing.

Shakespeare's Hamlet expresses the same sentiment as...

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

...where he could have (less poetically) said...

There's more to life than rational discussion and classical studies, Horatio!

Note that in the Hamlet example it wouldn't really matter to the audience exactly which aspects of Horatio's attitudes or preoccupations were singled out, so they're not even specified at all in the "real" version.

By the same token, we don't need to care exactly what an orange and black color scheme represents - all we need to know is that the writer is writing Advice to Princeton Women Grads. From this we can deduce that at least the writer considers the expression to be a typical example of the kind of thing that interests those people he's "advising".

Given the context, we can probably also guess that he's not actually making any attempt to give constructive advice to Princeton Women Grads anyway. He's just poking fun at them in a way he hopes other readers will find amusing (even if those other readers don't know what it means, they know their lives are not so limited/blinkered, so they're smug in their superiority).

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  • Slight correction: Dominique is very likely a woman, not a he. I agree with you that she is poking fun at Princeton grads. Her column borders on--if not steps over the boundary into--sarcasm. – rhetorician Apr 2 '13 at 4:45
  • @rhetorician: Call me a cynic, but I can't help thinking there's "something unhealthy" about the fact that Dominique actually knows and can quote lines from the Princeton Cannon Song (personally, I fully intend to forget all about that link as soon as I click on "Add Comment"! :) – FumbleFingers Apr 2 '13 at 4:50
  • @FumbleFingers.Though I could vaguely surmise the implications of the phrase, “There is more (to life) than X” and that orange and black combination is Princeton’s color scheme, I didn’t know “There is more to life than X” expression dates far back to Shakespeare. A great learning. BTW. According to Time, the writer, Dominique Browning is the co-founder of Moms Clean Air Force and the author of “Slow Love.” – Yoichi Oishi Apr 2 '13 at 8:10
  • @FumbleFingers I dare say she looked up the song, just as you did. – StoneyB on hiatus Apr 2 '13 at 11:10
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    It seems for an Octogenerarian, there's more to life than reading English journals at random looking for a seed for a post in Stack Exchange. – Yoichi Oishi Apr 2 '13 at 21:34

Black and orange are Princeton's colors (hence also the reference to Tiger sis).

The phrase "more to life than ..." is quite a common one. It means you should stop focussing on small and unimportant things and realise there's a big wide world out there. It could be applied to any instance where somebody is missing out on something because they are too involved with one aspect of their lives. For example:

There's more to life than watching TV, get out and climb a mountain.


There's more to life than worrying about your unfashionable clothes, don't let that stop you going out.

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