Bad Language #1
No, I'm not talking about cussing. This is the first of a probably continuing series of blog entries in which I rant a little bit about what I consider to be poor usage of English, stuff which bugs the heck out of me.
This first one has to do with a bit of ridiculous hyperbole found all too often in advertisements for movies. It usually takes the form of a phrase like "A Tale Beyond Imagination!" or "A Story Beyond Imagining!" or some equally nonsensical variation. Think about it -- "beyond imagination"? Obviously not -- a whole bunch of people imagined the heck out of it, and made costumes, props, cast actors, devised special effects, wrote a script and imagined all of the myriad of things required to get a movie on the screen. Literally, NOTHING in ANY movie (or anything created by any human being) is "beyond imagination".
I see the usage of this type of phrase as an example of sadly deficient imagination on the part of those in charge of publicity -- it's a truly lazy, silly shorthand for trying to say how mind-blowingly awesome a movie is, when in point of fact it probably isn't anything of the sort. And there is an insulting subtext to it, too -- they're saying, in essence, that their movie is beyond YOUR imagination, you dull, stupid ticket buyer. -- PL