I will admit it first: I have just the smallest touch of fuddy duddyness about me when it comes to the language.
Nancy told me that she had friended her son on Facebook.
“‘Friending’,” she said, “is FB-speak for inviting someone to join your Friends list.” North Puffin is remote. Sometimes it takes a while for new word usage to make it here to the end of the world. Especially when we already have a really good word that does the job.
No one on FaceSpace apparently knows how to BEfriend anyone.
encarta defines befriend as to “make friends with: to be friendly to somebody, especially to somebody who has no friends and needs help.”
Friends help their friends. I like that.
The O.E.D. notes that someone cobbled befriend together in the mid-16th Century, long enough ago that most of us should know the word by now. I guess if it ain’t brandy new bright and shiny, it ain’t cool.
So what. I wear khakis and button down shirts. I am cool all the time but every couple of decades the world comes around again. And I do use social networks.
OTOH, I don’t much like verbification (heh) and I don’t much like misuse of perfectly good words. The folks on FaceSpace are people we sorta kinda know; we typically do not invest enough time in them to make them real friends.
FaceSpace is a communications tool for we who are cool. It occurs to me that we should ban from FaceSpace those who don’t know that befriending takes more than a quickie email.