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While reading an article, I encountered a sentence as follows:

Fast forward several years until increasing pain forced me off the court and X-rays revealed bone-on-bone arthritis in both knees. A sports medicine specialists suggested...

I can understand how "fast forward" was used as a verb in this sentence, but I do not know the grammar behind this. I assume this is not an imperative form as this sentence is followed by the story about the author's personal recollection. (I guess some phrase like Let's was omitted.) Could anyone tell me the grammar rule for to this sentence?

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    It is technically an imperative. However, certain narrative structures are so common that the listener interprets them as elements of style, not as literal commands. (Note that this is oral narrative style, not literary, but written accounts often imitate oral styles.) – Luke Sawczak Jul 4 '17 at 11:08
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    Another similar kind of imperative that doesn't come across as one is this promise format, where the command is followed by a prediction of the outcome: "Bear with me and you'll see where this story is going." Or "Make the right investments and you might become rich." – Luke Sawczak Jul 4 '17 at 11:11
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This is indeed an imperative, even though it doesn't appear to give a command that the listener or reader can obey. Instead, it's part of a narrative stylethat asks the reader to follow the narrator through time, space, or memory.

It may possibly be derived from a sort of running commentary on movies (where the term "fast forward" comes from). Here's a similar example:

It's dark out. I'm lying in bed but I can't sleep. Cut to John's house four blocks away. This very moment, he and Lisa are in his basement. The thought of her falling for his wiles makes me sick to my stomach.

This sort of thing isn't uncommon, particularly in informal or oral language.

A similar kind of phrase that is grammatically an imperative but really doesn't issue a command is this promise formulation:

Work hard at what you do and you will naturally come to love it.

Bear with me and you may find that my story is more relevant than you think.

The meaning of this imperative is not "Do this!" but "If you do this."

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Fast forward may be used as a verb in this way list of verbs although most dictionaries don't give it any respect. And, the author does seem to be using it as an imperative Cambridge Dictionary online.

Being published in English does not make any writing well written.

Fast forward several years until increasing pain forced me off the court and X-rays revealed bone-on-bone arthritis in both knees. A sports medicine specialists suggested...

The author is commanding the reader to advance into the future, which is narrated in the past. This does not make easy reading, or any sense.

Without other context to determine intent, the author might have written:

Let us look back several years as increasing pain forced me off the court and X-rays revealed bone-on-bone arthritis in both knees. A sports medicine specialists suggested...

This, I do not think, would have caused an issue worth a question.

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