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Beyond the stars

If something is from "beyond the stars", where is it really from?

Can it be from beyond a mere two stars? (Sometimes, both our sun and theirs would intervene, after all.) Does it have to be from beyond *all* stars? Which stars are "the" stars?

This query brought to you via an ad for a book set near Alpha Centauri.


Jan. 6th, 2011 03:26 pm (UTC)
I think the answer is dependent on context. It could work if it were part of a Peter-Pan style series of directions, perhaps. Thus, if I say the railway station is beyond the shops, I don't mean that it lies beyond all the shops in the world, but only the ones on the way to the railway station.

On the other hand, "east of the sun and west of the moon" makes no sense.