Shadow and shade

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Someone who is timid, suspicious, or easily frightened can be described as “afraid of their own shadow.” It’s a common English idiom I’m using to introduce the subject of shadow and shade.

Shadow and shade. Both need a light source to be formed, but not the same kind.

A shadow is the “picture” or silhouette cast by an object that blocks any light source. What kind of light source? The sun, a lamp, a candle, a spotlight, a flashlight, a streetlight, a nightlight, etc.

Shade, on the other hand, is the "partial darkness" made by a shadow of something, such as a tree or a building, and it only applies to shadows created outside by the sun. The light is diminished in intensity as a result of the interception of the rays, creating a cool, dark area where the sun does not reach, made by the shadow.

Shadows can be fun or frightening, depending on the situation. Have you ever made shadow puppets with your hands? However, if you've ever seen a horror film, you know that nighttime shadows stimulate the imagination to think strange, scary thoughts. In that case I would be afraid of my own shadow.

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