July 29, 2008


I am writing an application together with some Germans which involves making the same kinds of corrections again and again. They don't trust English verb tenses and use 'also' a lot. The Germans asked me, should we really write 'authentification' instead of 'authentication' and I thought, yep, but I checked some dictionaries just to be sure. Found out that 'authentification' isn't a word. One dictionary redirects to 'authentication'. Is it just me or has anyone else run across this? I have been saying and writing authentification for decades, only to find myself corrected. (You wouldn't say 'varicate', or 'verificate' but 'verify', leading to 'authentify'...)


At July 29, 2008 11:46 PM , Blogger annie said...

I've never heard authentification - only authentication.

At July 30, 2008 7:18 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

You and the rest of the world it seems. What planet have I been living on?

At July 30, 2008 2:22 PM , Blogger rigtenzin said...

I thought you were making a funny when you used "authentification."

I've never heard it until now.

At July 30, 2008 6:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...




I've only heard authenticate and I've heard it a lot.

On the other hand:


At July 30, 2008 7:05 PM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

Authentification is definitely a made up word. There are two solutions that I can think of to this problem:

1. Write a famous book and repeatedly use authentification.

2. Form your own English speaking country and make up your own spelling and grammar rules like the United States has done.

At July 30, 2008 9:13 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

This came up because in the proposed project we will use isotopes for food authentification, to show for example that Italian wine only comes from grapes and not say fermented sugar cane, beet juice and turpentine.

At July 30, 2008 9:20 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...


This is the kind of thing that can happen when you live among non-native speakers for more than ten years. High time we visited the homeland.

At July 30, 2008 9:28 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

I see now that the offending word originated with our French coauthor who based it on the French word, 'authentifier'. I should have caught it. My credablility is in shambles.

At August 05, 2008 2:41 PM , Blogger rigtenzin said...

I just remembered the word bustification. I think it refers to something that is broken, but I'm not sure. I saw a smashed car on the way to work and the word popped into my head.

At August 06, 2008 4:58 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...



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