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Raise expectations

Posted by ESC on August 02, 2007

In Reply to: Raise expectations posted by Baceseras on August 02, 2007

: : : Can anyone think of a phrase that means to falsely raise someone's expectations, only to possibly dash them again?

: : "Bait and switch" comes to mind --- it's the name of a swindler's ploy which has passed into general usage, seeming to offer some attractive "bait" which is switched at the last minute for something worthless.

: On the other hand, if you don't mean to imply a malicious intent to deceive, you could simply say that someone "gave false hope". Or more colloquially, "It's all moonshine" --- in this case the word "moonshine" refers not to untaxed liquor but to the way a nimbus of soft light makes any prospect appear lovely, which in plain sight may turn out to be a wasteland or a garbage dump, or worse.

The phrases that I can think of don't quite get it. Building castles in the air refers to self-delusion. Leading someone down the garden path -- seduction. Blowing smoke up one's a s s (or pumping sunshine up one's shirt) -- flattery.