Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Friend (verb)

Almost everyday I see FRIEND used as a verb. As in I’ll FRIEND you on facebook. None English speakers may find the English practice of 'verbing' nouns confusing.  This kind of thing happens in English, but is strictly forbidden in German and would swiftly invoke action from the syntactic police who are authorised to use, if necessary, deadly force to ensure the use of the verb BEFRIEND.

BEFRIEND doesn't work for Facebook. BEFRIEND implies a casual encounter at the vending machine, maybe a little assistance freeing a sticking bag of crisps, or an exchange of views on the price of gummy bears. BEFRIEND is not for someone that you actually give a shit about. But FRIEND (verb) doesn’t have a past form that feels right. One might say, I ‘FRIENDED you, but it sounds infantile.

A more radical approach would be to say: I FROUEND you on Facebook. This copies the: I fight, I fought, form but is still longwinded. Another variation, as in I drink, I drank, could give: FRAEND, which looks pleasingly medieval. Better still is FRUEND, which seems rather Freudian, which immediately makes it sexy.

I don’t generally sweat the conjugation of verbs but I do have a song in the Country and Western genre waiting to be written. Some of you may have heard my previous haunting ballad: I’m selling my dentures on EBAY because I don’t need to smile anymore.

The new number, which will doubtless be in the Country charts just as soon as this thorny linguistics matter is clarified will go something on the lines of, I FRIENDED my daddy on facebook, now I chat with him in heaven everyday.

1 comment:

  1. If befreind is for people you don't really give a shit about, are you implying that the facebook crowd give a shit about who they friend? Because it seems to me that they'll friend anyone who'll friend them back?

    Anyways, my own suggestion for the verb is "I'll facelink you". If it fails to win usage, I think it could have a second life as a threat?