We argued against the current spectral assignment for absorption spectrum of monomeric PIC which is widely accepted since the pioneering works of Scheibe and Jelley [G. Scheibe, Angew. Chem. 49 (1936) 563; E.E. Jelly, Nature 138 (1936) 1009]. A new spectrum is presented along with its conceptual basis. The hypothesized spectrum attributes the previous 0-0 (approximate to 525 nm) and 0-1 (approximate to 490 nm) assignments, respectively, to intermediates acting as the precursor of J-aggregates and to the 0-0 transition of monomeric PIC and brings the spectrum in accord with the seemingly universal spectral fingerprint of cyanines. The hypothesis is used to analyze and interpret the temperature dependence of the UV-vis absorption of PIC aggregates in saline aqueous solution by incorporating the J-band simulations within frenkel exciton formalism. Its implications for aggregate formation kinetics are given on the basis of current spectroscopic evidence. The hypothesis readily answers several long-standing questions: Why compared to many other cyanines at least an order of magnitude higher dye concentration is needed to form J-aggregates of PIC? Why are there no precursors, since aggregation is expected to be a consecutive process? A large number of observations on steady-state and time-resolved spectral properties, and aggregation kinetics in solution/thin films are likely to find reasonable explanations within this hypothesis. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.