Forget the Dictionary

 

by Wayne Keyser

 

Okay, to begin with, forget the dictionary.

You have to move your consciousness into the world of advertising - just the same way as language is used in very different ways in the ads you see on TV (did you know that "no other toothpaste cleans better than Acme toothpaste" really means "Acme cleans exactly the same as all other toothpastes?"

"So a smart showman would not advertise his show or item as a gaff?"
That is correct, it's not a word the public is supposed to ever hear or see.

"Alive - having life; living; existing; not dead or lifeless. Plain and simple must be breathing?" That is correct. Although the exhibit inside, a human with the claw like hands of 'limb reduction disorder,' may be very different from the banner illustration depicting a
lobster with a human head with the word 'ALIVE' in big letters. This also differentiates your exhibits from those consisting of mannequins or photographs (which can be billed as THE WORLD'S STRANGEST FREAKS PAST AND PRESENT, which pretty much guarantees that you're not going to see Chang and Eng in person, but only becomes an issue if you come outside and complain that there are no live exhibits.)

"Authentic - not false or copied; genuine; real." So if you say authentic it should be the one and only original or one of the one and only originals if there are multiples? I think language is used very flexibly in this case, on the lot. 'Authentic' usually is a CLAIM, not a guarantee, and if nobody can prove that is isn't authentic then you can get away with claiming it. Or you might comfort yourself by remembering that the fake two-headed baby, made of rubber, is a realistic representation of actual examples from nature.

"Fake - anything made to appear otherwise than it actually is; counterfeit. So if it is stated as Fake it means not the original, authentic, alive but maybe a gaff even tho it is real?" Who cares?


When did a banner ever say "Fake!"???

 

 

 


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