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Two experiments measured RTs for matching sequentially displayed color names to color patches. Experiment I demonstrated that printing the name in an incongruent color produced longer RTs than when the name was printed in black ink or a congruent colored ink, provided the time interval between the name display and the color patch display was brief (less than 100 msec). This interference was attenuated with longer delays. In Experiment II, a wider range of irrelevant colors was combined with the name display, and RT was found to be correlated with the colorimetric dissimilarity between the name and the irrelevant color. These findings suggest competition between irrelevant sensory input and pictorial encoding of relevant linguistic input.