friends and friends

online people know by now that the term “friends” has come to have new meanings.there are friends and then there are friends. people still resist change in the language. On Goodreads, for example, some people are horrified by the thought that you want to be “friends” with them. you didn’t mean to offend. you merely thought their taste in books was interesting. but no matter, you can still follow their reviews.

it’s very common for people to feel protective of their special words and to hate it when they change their meanings, but this is what language is about. it happens.

I was never very attached to the word “friends”. Perhaps it’s because I’ve lost so many over the years and some who I thought of as friends were really not, after all. on the other hand there’s no mistaking “family”. it is what it is.



one of the more popular words ‘lately’ – viral. viral videos, viral marketing. it’s basically the same as ‘evangelical’ (evangelism was a big word in high tech circles) except, perhaps, that it’s okay to be an evangelist, but who wants to be a virus?

more sexism in language

When Obama used the word ‘periodically’ recently, he got in trouble with feminists who read in some subtle reference to ‘female troubles’. Today he might have crossed that bridge again, by using the word “flow”.

With tensions rising between the two remaining Democratic candidates, Obama was asked about Clinton’s mocking comment that he was selling a vision of “celestial choirs” in attempting to persuade voters he could solve problems.

“I think things have gotten a little hotter over the last couple of days, but these things have gone, sort of, in ebbs and flows,” Obama said.