shade vs shading

bg1996

Senior Member
Cantonese,Mandarin;Kwangtung/Guangdong,hk
I am confused about the difference in meaning between shade(s) and shading(s).
These examples are from my dictionary.

1]...the capacity to convey subtle shades of meaning.
2]...literally dozens of newspapers of every shade of opinion.
3]Their language is particularly difficult to learn because of its subtle shading of tone and emphasis.
4]...the nuances and intricate shadings of diplomatic messages.

Would they be correct if shade and shading were swapped?
Would they mean something different?

BTW, thank panjandrum for his advices.
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    The words are essentially the same; "shading" might imply an active, conscious effort to create the variations, although this is obviously the meaning used in the first example.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    I am confused about the difference in meaning between shade(s) and shading(s).
    These examples are from my dictionary.

    1]...the capacity to convey subtle shades of meaning.
    2]...literally dozens of newspapers of every shade of opinion.
    3]Their language is particularly difficult to learn because of its subtle shading of tone and emphasis.
    4]...the nuances and intricate shadings of diplomatic messages.

    Would they be correct if shade and shading were swapped?
    Would they mean something different?

    BTW, thank panjandrum for his advices.

    Hi bg,

    Please don't use textspeak. It doesn't take long to write out 'by the way'.

    Generally a shade, in this sense, is a colour, and shading is hatching or darkening with pencil often to indicate where a shadow would fall.

    Lets look at your sentences:
    1]...the capacity to convey subtle shades of meaning. - can't be shading.
    2]...literally dozens of newspapers of every shade of opinion. - can't be shading.
    3]Their language is particularly difficult to learn because of its subtle shading of tone and emphasis. - here shading means the fact that tone and emphasis have various levels (just as shading in a drawing produces different levels of lights); I think you could substitute shades for shading here, without much change of meaning.
    4]...the nuances and intricate shadings of diplomatic messages. -
    here it means the different levels of suggestion: I don't think shades (colours) would work here, partly because shades are often natural while shading is usually applied. (I think this is what Bibliolept is talking about when he talks about an active, conscious effect)
     

    bg1996

    Senior Member
    Cantonese,Mandarin;Kwangtung/Guangdong,hk
    Hi, Thomas, according to what you said, can I say:
    shade--degree of slight difference
    shading--slight difference
    ?
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    Hi, Thomas, according to what you said, can I say:
    shade--degree of slight difference
    shading--slight difference
    ?

    No, not quite. I don't think this is quite what I said. You've left out the active element in shading. The two words are used in slightly different contexts and you have to get used to those differences, in my view. It's not easy to break it down to simple short definitions, nice as that would be.
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)
    Hi, Thomas, according to what you said, can I say:
    shade--degree of slight difference
    shading--slight difference
    ?

    Okay, don't give up! :) Let's try this:

    When we paint, we have different shades of colors (red1, red2, red3......)
    When you buy a foundation (for makeup), there are different shades, for different skin tones/colors.
    When a painter paints, he/she would try to make shadings around the subject to make it look vivid. (please note that these shadings are created by the painter)

    So, we have different shades of meaning (example 1) and opinion (example2) here, just like we all have different shades of skin tones.

    And we have different shadings of tone and emphasis (example 3) and diplomatic messages (example 4) here, they have bright and dark sides within themselves (up and down, high and low, agreement and disagreement), most of the time created by the person using them, intentionally or unintentionally, to make the subject (tone, emphasis, diplomatic messages) unique and meaningful, just like the vivid painting.
     
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