wordinista returns | must we unfriend?

So, it’s official.  “Unfriend” has been named 2009’s  word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary. Unfriend was defined as a verb that means to remove someone as a “friend” on a social networking site such as Facebook.

I love new words, but this made me wince. It’s so, so….so unfriendly. And sneaky. Because you can unfriend someone without them knowing it. Or so I have been told.

And it made me ponder nicer, gentler prefixes. Positive, nurturing, yet nuanced, like our friendships, in all of their fabulous flavors.

befriend (I do love this this most)

refriend (I love second chances)

cofriend (sharing is a good thing, as in we can share a friend)

prefriend (what you do when you want to be friends, but you aren’t friends just yet)

e-friend (you know who you are)

iFriend (I don’t know if this means a selfish, self-centered friend, or if it means being a friend to yourself, what do you think?)

faux friend (not officially a prefix, and not officially a friend, but useful and not always a bad thing)

dynafriend (the powerhouse of friends)

ecofriend (the one with the Birkenstocks)

I also have other friend categories:

friends who will tell you when you have a booger

friends who you could call at 2 am, if you really, really needed to

friends who forgive you when you forget their birthdays (this is a large group in my life)

friends who have seen you at your worst, and stick around anyway (also a large group)

friends who make you feel smart and pretty and clever, just by being

friends of the road and friends of the heart.

and never to be unfriended.


About kim tackett

Northern CA marketing consultant, writer of very small stories, and drinker of very strong coffee.
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3 Responses to wordinista returns | must we unfriend?

  1. Leslie says:

    Yay for not unfriending … iFriend could be a variant of e-friend, if it’s someone with whom the friendship is conducted primarily online, as well as the two possibilities you mentioned. It could also mean making a conscious decision to be a friend (i[am a]Friend).

    While typing this, I had one of those weird disorienting moments where an everyday word suddenly looks alien and wrong. So disconcerting …

  2. LisaF says:

    So, once upon a time, we were prefriends, befriending each other to become iFriends (see above explanation suggestion). As of now, we don’t share any cofriends, but I’m sure that will change soon enough. I hope to never become a faux friend, needing to be refriended. My preference is to be a dynafriend e-friend, even if just in the blogosphere. 🙂

  3. Penny Hill says:

    Where’s the “like” button?

    *tee hee*

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