Friend

A Friendly Keyword 

by Megan Danslow 

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The Google dictionary defines “friend” as follows;

friend

frɛnd/

noun

noun: friend; plural noun: friends; noun: Friend; plural noun: Friends

1. 
a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.”she’s a friend of mine”

2. 
a member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.

Urban dictionary’s definitions is as follows; [A person] who [is] aware of how retarded you are and still manage[s] to be seen in public with you. People who make you laugh till you pee your pants. people who cry for you when one of your special items disappear. when you don’t have enough money to get a ice cream, they chip in. Knows all of your internet passwords. Who would never make you cry just to be mean.

The keyword I have chosen to write about and defend its importance is ‘friend’. As seen in the above definitions, based on the context, ‘friend’ can be defined in many ways. I believe however, in today’s society and history passed, the definition extends much further than those listed above.

Today, friend is also used as a verb;

verb: friend; 3rd person present: friends; gerund or present participle: friending; past tense: friended; past participle: friended

1. 
informal
add (someone) to a list of friends or contacts on a social networking website.”I am friended by 29 people who I have not friended back”

However it has also been used in this way for a longer part of history;

2. 
archaic
befriend (someone).

We use the word friend; to describe people we like in a romantic or sexual way; “he’s just a friend” “oh yeah? A friend?”

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To describe people we don’t really like; “yeah, I guess we’re friends”

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And the way in which we say the word tells a lot about a relationship between two or more people.

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BFFL (best friends for life), besties or bestie babes are all modern takes on the term “best friend”. A term often used loosely to describe our one or few closest friends. I still remember being asked as a child constantly who my best friend was and saying regularly “I’ll be your best friend” in return for food, company or other enjoyable gifts from others.

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As I grew older and the word friend took on new meanings, this attitude of “be your friend if…” remained relevant. In my early high school days, a time of the Black Eyed Peas and myspace, top friends (a friend ranking system on the social media platform myspace) took the part of the best friend I was asking for food. “Top friend me and I’ll top friend you back”, “OMG she top friended her boyfriend over me, what ever happened to sisters over misters” were definitely sentences to be heard in my year eight locker room.

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The “friendzone” has also become a meaning closely associated with the word friend, defined by Urban Dictionary as:

“What you attain after you fail to impress a woman you’re attracted to. Usually initiated by the woman saying, “You’re such a good friend”. Usually associated with long days of suffering and watching your love interest hop from one bad relationship to another. Verb tense is “Friend-ed”.

“I spent all that money on a date, just to find out she put me in the Friend Zone(said with eerie echo).” “You know that hot girl I’ve been talking to? She just Friend-ed me.”

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I believe the word friend takes on a different meaning for anyone who thinks about it. Based on the individual, different experiences, people and meanings come to mind. For this reason, “friend” is a keyword for everyone in the 21st century.

In this day and age, we all want many friends, yet we also want true friends. A friend is something we all try to be and something we can all relate to. For this reason I believe this is a keyword, with many definitions, specific to the individual using the word. The word has been used to describe countless situations and relationships and continually undergoes change, taking on new meaning and demonstrating its relevance. Friend; a true keyword of the 21st century.

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