Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Freinds (for Friends)

Friend is sort of a friendly word. And lately, sort of a trendy one too. Thanks to Facebook, it's even considered to be a verb now, along with its antagonistic antonym: unfriend. (Last Wednesday, in fact, was National Unfriend Day, per late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel). Libraries have Friends, and Quakers are Friends. The word itself inspired the name Wendy, which was popularized (if not actually invented) by James Barrie in connection with the "Peter Pan" story. It lends itself to poetry because it rhymes with so many other useful words: bend (in the road), blend (together), fend (for oneself), mend (a rift), rend (a garment), send (one's regards), spend (some time), tend (the garden), wend (one's way), and best of all—friends till the end. There were 36 cases of Freinds for friends in the OhioLINK database today.

(Lisa Kudrow of the sitcom Friends, visiting Vassar College in February 2004, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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