reality distortion field
n. An aura or mystique, either inherent or generated by charm, enthusiasm, or salesmanship, that prevents something from being seen as it really is. Also: reality-distortion field.

Example Citations:
I told him straight off that his first mistake was allowing his boss to go to Comdex, especially unaccompanied. I assumed that the boss was nontechnical and therefore especially susceptible to the reality distortion field that surrounds any new product.
—Bill Machrone, “Win CE Boxes Already Causing IS Grief,” PC Week, August 23, 1998

For here is a woman whose power and sway on the big screen have expired; her silent screen antics — no matter that they’ve gone perilously past their use-by date — are now suspended in time and place. In her ornate palace on Sunset Boulevard — a reality-distortion field if ever there was one — power and fame, not insecurity and fragility, are the dominant forces.
—Bryce Hallett, “Revved-up Mercedes adds power to Sunset,” The Australian, March 12, 1997

Earliest Citation:
Well, it’s Steve. Steve insists that we’re shipping in early 1982, and won’t accept answers to the contrary. The best way to describe the situation is a term from Star Trek. Steve has a reality distortion field.
—Bud Tribble quoted in Andy Hertzfeld, “Reality Distortion Field,” Folklore, February 1, 1981

Related Words:

Category: