I just read this article, about an exhibit of mummified corpses on display in Monterey, Mexico, and my immediate reaction was "cool! I want to go!" There's something weird and creepy and totally awesome about really old, inadvertently-mummified dead people. But upon reading the article, I noticed this statement:
"The collection is believed to be the largest in the Western Hemisphere. And the 23 corpses and head in Monterrey are the largest group from the museum to ever hit the road."
I run across this sort of statement a lot- such and such is "believed to be the largest collection in the world," or whatnot. "The collection of medieval torture devices at the Tower of London is believed to be the largest in the world." That sort of thing. What gets me is the "believed to be" part. It conjurs up images of some deranged, psychotic serial killer disguised as an innocent rich person, who secretly collects medieval torture devices, or in this case, mummified corpses, and it is only a matter of time before his collection is discovered and the collection previously thought to be the largest is outshone by some creepy guy's fetish. Is that why they put that phrase in these articles? So that if someone comes out and says "I HAVE A BIGGER COLLECTION OF DEAD GUYS, DON'T SELL ME SHORT," they don't have to deal with it?
Am I the only one who thinks about these things?