a beautiful score

benjaminlee

Senior Member
Chinese
Everything was arranged in order for you to get a beautiful score in the final battle: the College Entrance Examination. (self-made)
Can I say a score is beautiful, to mean that it is a high score that will make me proud of myself? Because the score is good for me, can I say that it is beautiful?
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Personally I wouldn't talk about a beautiful score. "Beautiful" implies an aesthetic appreciation. Maybe an "impressive" score?

    bennymix's example is taken from a sports context. Many people who appreciate sports will describe tactics and movements as graceful or beautiful. I've even heard kicks in football described as "beautiful".
     

    benjaminlee

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Maybe this use of "beautiful" is colloquial and not formal, since as a native speaker, you do not find it natural?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    As a native speaker I've never heard anyone describe an exam score as "beautiful" and I would think it a little odd. If it were colloquial I wouldn't think it odd.

    Other people will have different opinions and they may be in the habit of using "beautiful" in contexts where I wouldn't.
     

    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    Having lived among Americans for close to two decades I can't remember having heard that before. I too found it to sound a bit strange.

    Having said that the word "beautiful" can sometimes be applied in unexpected ways. I seem to recall a line of dialog in the movie "Fight Club" where the main character has gotten all this equipment and funding by defrauding his employer, and his comment was "It was beautiful." So let's say that you have a friend that always score higher than you, and it is a friend who is very annoying and always reminds you that he/she is better than you. Then one day you score really high, higher than this person, and you make it a point to mention it to be just as annoying yourself as a sort of revenge. If you then talk about your score in relation to your 'revenge' perhaps you could say "It was a beautiful score" (though it would perhaps have a different connotation as well in this context).

    So I think it is unusual to use in this context in most cases, but that exceptions can be made in some circumstances.
     
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