Talk:cast a shadow

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

Yeah, the current definition only works with a few collocations, like "cast a long shadow", and even then, not in every instance of that: to "cast a long shadow on the world" is sometimes to have a lasting, pervasive influence on it. Maybe a def about "influence" would be most encompassing. - -sche (discuss) 02:13, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Yup, in line with MWOnline: 13b : "pervasive and dominant influence". IOW, SoP if you believe as I do that the sense of "influence" exists apart from the verb cast, as in "Keynes' shadow loomed over the discussions that brought the Bretton Woods system to an end." DCDuring TALK 02:55, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

RFD[edit]

Green check.svg

The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.


cast a shadow[edit]

It is undefined, but the citation shows it as a trite, live, SoP metaphor. DCDuring TALK 12:01, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree: delete. (Wonderfool too.) The point of metaphors is that they use images to convey things that are only partially similar. We can't define them all, and I bet we have a figurative sense at shadow too. Equinox 01:21, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
Why can't we define them all? We are, after all, attempting to define all words, and metaphors must constitute a far smaller set then words. Furthermore, metaphors can be one of the most difficult things for non-English speakers to get right. To the extent that a metaphor is attested under the CFI, and uses words in ways subtly different from a literal sum of parts, we should define them all. bd2412 T 02:20, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
We can't define them all because part of the beauty and art of the metaphor is in coming up with new ones, rather than regurgitating clichés. A reader must be able to understand something like "the smile of the Sun" as indicating its cosy warmth rather than an actual facial grin. For that same reason, if you are reading good writing, and not drivel composed entirely of clichés (Dan Brown), there will be infinite range of new and thought-provoking metaphors: by their original nature they cannot all go into a dictionary. Equinox 02:26, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
A really ancient example would be "rosy-fingered Dawn" (from old translations of Homer's Odyssey). Clearly the dawn does not have fingers. Does it help for us to define rosy-fingered here? No. Even if you translated it into another language, you would presumably translate it as "having rosy fingers", because the fingers (climbing over the landscape and lighting it up) are a mental image; that is poetry. Equinox 02:35, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't see why "the beauty and art of the metaphor" has anything to do with it. The purpose of a dictionary is not to encourage people to come up with new metaphors by refusing to offer definitions of old ones that meet the CFI. bd2412 T 03:27, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Both cast and shadow have figurative meanings. One literal gloss for cast is "to throw". A figurative meaning is "to put forth as if by throwing". A literal shadow is "thrown" and a figurative shadow ("influence") is put forth as if by throwing. I really don't see the idiomaticity of the combination. There is a "construction" here, but I don't see that we can both do the construction justice and be useful to users looking for dictionary-type access to definitions. I would hate to have to have decent entries for all of the words that can be both literal and figurative objects of a verb like "cast" ("doubt", "a light", "a net", "a halo", etc). We continue to have too small a number of senses for words like cast and shadow while we had a sparse sprinkling of whatever multi-word expressions strike our fancy. DCDuring TALK 05:35, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep and close: I've added a definition that doesn't use the primary definition of "shadow" and isn't as trite. And I see no reason to choose not to define all the idiomatics we can; if they can be verified (which would lend mostly to cliches; the one-offs would be . Wiktionary needs to be more inclusionist. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 06:27, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
    Please don't put 'and close', telling other editors they don't have the right to express and opinion on the matter is likely to generate hostility. Just allow other people to have opinions, and if you can't, please don't edit here at all. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:38, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
    It also needs to be of higher quality. I suggest that usage examples or citations including this expression belong under the appropriate senses of cast#Verb and shadow#Noun. That way the search function can direct the user to the appropriate entries containing the important components. Alternatively, one could work on a way of usefully presenting all the variation possible in live metaphors. A few minutes research finds "long", "sad", "heavy", "mournful", "momentary", "giant", "sinister", "gloomy", "lasting", "sombre", "looming", "large", "disproportionate", "benevolent", "prominent", and "chilling" as possible adjectives modifying the figurative sense of shadow. Most can be in the comparative as well. And there are all kinds of non-literal senses of shadow that should be covered for completeness. Consider the sense of shadow in:
    • 2001, Richard T. Schilizzi, Galaxies and their constituents at the highest angular ...International Astronomical Union:
      the presence of an event horizon will cast a shadow on the emission region, roughly 5 Schwarzschild radii in diameter. For a ~ 3-106M0 black hole at a distance of 8 kpc this corresponds to 37/i-arcseconds.
      We don't even have that sense of shadow. DCDuring TALK 07:43, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
    And MWOnline has 14 senses (17 senses and subsenses) of shadow (noun). We have 5. I am a staunch inclusionist with regards to such senses of important, widely used words like "shadow". I'd like all the incompletionists to get working on such things. DCDuring TALK 07:48, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
    Why shouldn't it be closed? It was opened primarily because it needed to be redefined. It's been redefined Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 01:32, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
    For one thing, the definition seems to reflect the influence of the word long in the single citation. Consider the following citation in which shadow is instead modified by benevolent:
    • 2009, Sr. Anthony P. Mauro, Color the Green Movement Blue: A Remedy for Environmental Health, page 157:
      Even archaeologists are at a loss to explain their disappearance from the mesas and canyons of the southwest. However, the bits and pieces of their former presence seemed to cast a benevolent shadow, an affirmation that I was on a promising path.
    For another, the RfD was opened because I could not imagine that any definition could simultaneously fit real citations accurately and not be SoP. Subsequent events have not dissuaded me. DCDuring TALK 01:51, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Delete per DCDuring. - -sche (discuss) 07:53, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
Lean towards keep as it happens, it's a metaphor but it's difficult enough to understand that we should have an entry for it here. Nothing in WT:CFI#Idiomaticity forbids it, in fact probably the opposite. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:38, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
Please add all the appropriate senses. Do you think we are missing figurative senses of cast? DCDuring TALK 01:51, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

I think we shall not have an entry for every metaphor. The meaning of this phrase is easily deductible from the senses of "cast" and "shadow". It would be more important to have every sense of every word defined than to have a more or less random collection of their combinations. As an example let's take a look on what we have on "give a ...". We have give a ring but don't have give a ride, we have gimme a five but not the appropriate sense of five etc. Not that keeping this would cause much harm, it's just useless and running this kind of entries misdirects the attention of editors to entries of secondary importance. Delete, if I'm asked. --Hekaheka (talk) 10:56, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Keep until someone comes up with a valid argument for deletion. The term could be sum of parts with respect to a figurative sense of "shadow". The argument that Wiktionary excludes live metaphors (nothing of the sort is in CFI) would, if accepted, equally well exclude the corresponding figurative sense of "shadow", on whose inclusion the sum-of-parts argument depends. Furthermore, whether this is a live metaphor is doubtful, due to the commonness of the metaphor: skimming the first few pages of google:"casts a shadow" suggests this phrase is very often used figuratively in English. Thus, "by their original nature they cannot all go into a dictionary" (Equinox above) does not apply: the English speaker who uses the phrase "cast a shadow" figuratively does not do anything original at all. Put differently, if a metaphor is trite, it is doubtful that it can be live at the same time.

    The argument along the line that we need to delete this so that editors can focus on other things is an attempt to regulate and channel other editors' resources, which really has not place in RFD, IMHO, and, clearly enough, is not supported by CFI. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:37, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Strong keep. --Anatoli (обсудить) 04:42, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Mmmm...lean towards delete, it's just a metaphorical use of a SOP phrase. Ƿidsiþ 11:59, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Keep per figurative use in phrases like "cast a shadow of doubt". DAVilla 01:59, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Kept. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 08:55, 9 August 2012 (UTC)