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Saturday, December 16, 2017

You are my 'Unfriend'

Credit: Claire Pitt
Unfriend Cartoon

Unfriend is the 2009 word of the year

Apparently the word of the year for 2009 is......Unfriend

Defined as:

Unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.

As I am a social networking fiend, the term ‘unfriend’ was not unknown to me, but it doesn’t strike me as word of the year material.  Luckily it is not up to me to choose, that is down to the folks at the Oxford University Press (USA). They must have a lot of fun picking words that some people will idenitfy with, some people will hate and some people won't have a clue about.

Does it really matter if you 'unfriend' a person that was never actually your friend in the first place? I can see how it would cause a wee bit of friction if you went round clicking an imaginary button and unfriending all your close family and friends. Do those people living inside your computer care if they suddenly can't see what you have had for breakfast anymore? I suppose it all depends on how you use social networking in the first place.

Unfriend is certainly a popular term, I googled 'unfriend' and a hoard of epic proportions were desperate to know more about it (4.59 million when I last checked). Can so may people be desperate to unfriend, did they add some horror from high school, look at all their photographs and are now looking to dump than faster than I don't know what?

Apparently 'Sexting' nearly made it, but at a mere 3.9 million hits, I can see why they went with 'Unfriend' (not really). Maybe if there was more sexting there would be less unfriending....Although facebooking someone's mum may lead to sexting, which would undoubtedly lead to unfriending. My head is spinning as these terms whizz by and I am already wondering if 'unfriend' is trending as a #hashtag on twitter, I am also wondering when the heck I started understanding  these internet like terms. A few years ago I wouldn't have had a clue what any of that meant.

My 'British English' firefox extension tells me that 'unfriend' is not yet a word, so I am safe for now aren't I? I better check my followers count on twitter, friend list on facebook and so on and on and on..

The Oxford University Press (USA) - blog http://blog.oup.com/

Word of the year article is here – http://blog.oup.com/2009/11/unfriend/

Oxford English Dictionary - The definitive record of the English language http://www.oed.com/

Only highbrow stuff found on this site, no 'unfriend' nonsense.... Like the Dog's Bollocks.

 



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crpitt is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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13 comments on You are my 'Unfriend'

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By Lady D on November 18, 2009 at 10:25 am

My head is spinning just reading the article (but in a good way). Sometimes we just take all the crap we made up way to seriosly.

Thanks for putting a new light on things.

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By Innocent Owner on November 18, 2009 at 10:46 am

It's in our haste to become "Friends" in the first place that we madly and blindly start clicking away till we find our computers bogged down with so much matarial that it just freezes up.  If we stopped to think about it before clicking the "Friend" button just non chalantly, 'unfriend' would go away.

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By Theresa H Hall on November 18, 2009 at 11:43 am

Do you mean if I "unfriend" all my thousands of friends and followers, I'll be making all them to sink into a decline? 

These new words and acronyms are funny. Speaking of lettering used in place of words, there is a most excellent book that my middle sister let me read, back in the 1980's called, "C D B ?" ... see the bee? Well, back then, we partied a bit and would attempt reading the letters allowed. Any passerby would hear howls and shrieks of laughter. It is a must read and may be found on Amazon Books site. You and yours would throughly enjoy this little book, just as I have enjoyed your funny article.

 

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By Casandra Kennedy on November 18, 2009 at 12:11 pm

hehe I am quite guilty of unfriending certain people. Poor Gabby was unfriended about 11 times this year alone :)

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By manny osborne on November 18, 2009 at 08:29 pm

how can I unfriend real people? we need an option in our cell phones (unfriend) so we can just push it and block all phone calls ant text messages. not real, good article

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By crpitt on November 19, 2009 at 07:51 am

Hey guys,

I could have waffled on longer about 'unfriend' but as it was my first post/article/whatsit on here, I didn't want to bore you rigid.

In real life I unfriend people by not washing or brushing my hair, that seems to do the trick.

Maybe I will delve more deeply into the world of online etiquette for a future post.

Thanks for reading this thingy and commenting, I was chuffed to bits.

 

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By crpitt on November 21, 2009 at 07:41 am

@Bill, Is this person trying to get your attention? Have you not added them as a friend? This happens on twitter a lot and facebook, where they add and delete you, until you block them or add them.

 

I am now chuffed that you looked up chuffed, maybe I will do a daft word a day, or some such nonsense .

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By nothingprofound on November 21, 2009 at 08:38 am

I suspect we all have more unfriends than friends in this world unless we happen to be a hyundred dollar bill or a box of chocolates.

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By nothingprofound on November 21, 2009 at 08:40 am

You'll probably wondering what a hyundred dollar bill is.  Well, so am I.

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By crpitt on November 24, 2009 at 01:11 pm

@NP I am shocked at your grave typo error, that is definitely an 'unfriending' worthy thing. Although the 'hyundred' would tempt me to add you back again..

@Bill Not sure why I can tap into the mind set of a 2nd grader so well, it must be a unique ability :)

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By M.J. Hamada on December 04, 2009 at 04:33 pm

Word on the street is that "unfriend" should be "defriend." Are those Oxford heads unhip?

If "UNFRIEND" is the word of the year, what does that say about the year?

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By crpitt on December 05, 2009 at 02:45 pm

I heard those words also, I actually think 'block' should trump unfriend and defriend put together.

I think it says that this has been pretty shitty year for some people or that people get sucked into latest social networking sites, have a play and then want to press the eject button when they have seen how fat/ugly/pretty/succesful/unsuccesful their least favourite person in high school has gotten :)

Thanks for reading :)

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By crpitt on December 05, 2009 at 02:46 pm

Well erm I meant a new definition of 'block' as its not actually a new word :)

I would have picked sexting.

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