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  1. #1
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    Default shadow something

    What does the following expression mean?

    Maybe that's because for me, as for most Americans, one energy crisis or another has shadowed most of the past three decades.

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: shadow something

    Hello Flash

    It means "has cast a shadow over most of the past three decades".

    "To cast a shadow over" means "to make slightly gloomy".

    MrP

  3. #3
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    Default Re: shadow something

    I thought about this meaning too. Honestly, I can't even get what it means in my first-language. The original sentence (in English) is taken from the magazine "National Geographic" of August 2005.
    Does this phrase mean that energy crises that have taken place in the last few decades haven't been significant for Americans? Or does it mean that Americans have experienced problems on account of those crises?
    This sentence got me really confused

    Anyway, thanks for the answer!

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    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: shadow something

    Hello Flash

    It means that the various energy crises have had a negative effect on most Americans.

    It's a strange sentence, because "to shadow someone" usually means "to follow someone closely, like a shadow". But here, the writer means "to overshadow".

    I blame the sub-editor at National Geographic.

    MrP

  5. #5
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    Default Re: shadow something

    Hey MrPedantic,

    It's a strange sentence, because "to shadow someone" usually means "to follow someone closely, like a shadow". But here, the writer means "to overshadow".
    Very true. When I came across that sentence and couldn't get the meaning of the phrase 'shadow...' I naturally decided to look 'shadow' up. The results were, shall we say, confusing. Here they are

    1 to follow someone wherever they go, especially secretly:
    Guards shadowed the escaped prisoners for several miles before capturing them.
    1a. to follow someone in their job to try and learn from them
    2 to stop light from getting to something:
    A large hat shadowed her eyes.
    Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2002

    Nothing that could help me understand the sentence.
    But for your help, I would never have gotten what the author meant. Although I have the printed version of August's issue, I'd like to give you the link where you can read the whole text if interested

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    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: shadow something

    Quote Originally Posted by Flash
    Although I have the printed version of August's issue, I'd like to give you the link where you can read the whole text if interested
    If it's no trouble, that would be much appreciated, Flash.

    Just to make sure I haven't unjustly maligned the NG subs...

    MrP

  7. #7
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    Default Re: shadow something

    Here you are: http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/n.../fulltext.html

    This is the whole NG story. The extract we're talking about is virtually at the very beginning

  8. #8
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    Default Re: shadow something

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    Hello Flash

    It means that the various energy crises have had a negative effect on most Americans.

    It's a strange sentence, because "to shadow someone" usually means "to follow someone closely, like a shadow". But here, the writer means "to overshadow".

    I blame the sub-editor at National Geographic.

    MrP
    I read it as "has followed most of the last three decades".

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