Ali’s blog

Mostly quant stuff with occasional digressions

What “friendship” entails

Posted by alifinmath on April 1, 2009

I’ve been thinking about the word “friendship” for some days. In the USA, a “friend” is someone whom you’ve had coffee with a couple of times. The most egregious recent example of abuse of language is a Facebook “friend” — who can be removed as a “friend” with a few mouse clicks. Indeed, I hear Burger King had an offer a while back of a value meal if a participant was willing to jettison a dozen such “friends.” But here in Norway — and in Scandinavian and Baltic Europe generally — the word has a different connotation, a different resonance altogether. It is difficult to make friends here — but once made, they are there for life and will stick by one’s side through thick and thin. In other words, relationships are more authentic here.

I remember being impressed with a YouTube video some months back, where one dog saves another dog’s life on a Chilean highway. Now that is friendship. I bet that dog wouldn’t give up his pal for the offer of a free junk burger, plastic fries, and diet soda. In a land where the food, the education, the politics is fake, why should the smiles, the words, the promises, the “friendships” be any more authentic?

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