Philology … from a Philadelphian … trying to get to Philadelphia

Linguists make it clear that the meaning of words changes with time. Check out the meaning of “silly” as it changes from Shakespeare’s to our present usage. Very interesting. They tell us that to try to keep our language usage constant destroys the meaning of a living language.

So one of the words that has undergone a lot of change in recent years is “Friend.” To the detriment IMHO. When I was a young man my dad would often say to me that friendship should be treasured, that if you can make a few good friends in your life then you are very lucky.

Clearly this has changed in recent years. Probably it started with Facebook. What did it mean when I overheard someone talking about their 2083 friends? Another change that confused me was when people started talking about “friends with benefits.” This was always said with a wink and a smirk and I would smile along, although I had no real idea what they were talking about. Not until this trip. When we arrived at Elden’s it began to hit me, and then when we got to Jim and Mary’s it started to sink in. Now, as we are approaching the City of Brotherly Love, I get it. When Shelagh and I get there and Larry and Linda open the door, and they ask us “would you like to use the laundry? You can use the washing machine and dryer as much as you want…” we are “friends with benefits.”

Now I finally get it.

This entry was posted in Biking, Friends, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Philology, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Philology … from a Philadelphian … trying to get to Philadelphia

  1. Lilly Gaev says:

    We be Lovin yer blog!! Missed you both at Stowe but your writings kept us company in spirit. Last Sunday we greatly enjoyed clever, sassy, & talented Nelly Mackay at the Iron Horse with Bob & Nancy. Great music tip. I don’t know if you’ve heard that I outdid myself for my Stowe Birthday this year. I skied the front four all day, happily & hypo manically, without poles ( due to a strained rotator cuff). AND I broke my leg & had surgery. Evidently, A mountain troll came up from beneath a mogul & grabbed the back of my ski, I kept going but my gear & leg did not :(. Fortunately, I had 4 days of experiential trauma training scheduled this week, so I’m rapidly getting over my trampled ego.

    I covet Ben’s biking, but Crutches ain’t for sissies !

    Sweaty Hugs,


    Sent from my iPhone

    • shelaghvt says:

      We DID hear about your adventures in the terrible tibial plateau, and are remiss in not yet getting in touch. Glad you’re as positive as always. Can’t wait to see you (I hope I hope). In the meantime, sweaty hugs back. xo

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