You may have noticed that, here at FairyRoom, we often capitalize the word Fantastic, as in, “We have Fantastic Plans,” the title of our very first article (we could have less elegantly said “We have plans that incorporate the Fantasy culture.”) We might call something fantastic, or Fantastic, or both. Each usage conveys a different meaning. Grammaticians may squirm over such liberal use of mid-sentence upper case, but respectfully, we feel it fits.
When we use the word Fantastic, we don’t merely intend it to mean “extraordinary, unreal, or conceived by unrestrained fancy,” as the Merriam-Webster dictionary puts it, although that is usually part of what we mean. This is a deliberate adjective choice. We are either calling something “spectacular” or we are directly referencing the realm of Fantasy, where dreams are tangible, the impossible is natural, and nothing is off-limits — fantastic, yes, but Fantastically so.
Additionally, as a construct, it’s efficient. It’s a clear modifier that what we are describing belongs in the Fantasy culture. For example, if we described Edward Robert Hughes’ painting “Midsummer Eve” (above) as fantastic, we would be describing the beautiful, finely detailed craftsmanship. But Fantastic points to the dreamy fantasy world that the painting invokes. You the reader are neatly cued that this isn’t just fantastic as the dictionary defines it, it’s what would be if true magic were possible. It’s what is possible if imagination is stretched — and if by calling out the Fantastic aspect we thusly invite our readers to apply a touch more imagination, then that’s fantastic, truly.