F. Scott Fitzgerald said,

"There are no second acts in American lives."

Most people think he was crazy.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

When did we switch from "New and Improved" to "Authentic?"

One of the buzzwords I hear more and more in everyday conversation is "authentic." It's been used to describe everything from social networking media to lifestyle choices. I've even caught myself using it on occassion. But I've noticed that in almost all of these instances, "authentic" has been used erroneously.

Dictionary.com, my source of choice (mainly because I'm lazy and don't want to get off my butt to go to the bookshelf and take down the real dictionary when it's so much easier just to minimize and Google), says this about authentic:

1. not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique.
2. having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified: an authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master.
3. entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy: an authentic report on poverty in Africa.

Taking these definitions into consideration, which one is the right one when used in the following sentence:
"Twitter could possibly be the most authentic form of social media."

Okay, so it's not a reproduction Twitter. Or a reproduced social media. It has been verified to indeed be Twitter, and many people believe it to be so.
But what the he!! does it mean?

In raising the curtain on a second act, more and more of us are referring to our "authentic" selves, when in reality we simply mean being honest with ourselves. Folks want to use a 'cool' (or 'hot', for that matter) word to describe what they are trying to do--get back to the things that made them happiest. In essence, using a word like "authentic" puts a spin on something that should, at it's core, be very real.

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