While writing about friendship earlier this week, I realized there was so much more to say. I'll probably revisit the subject at least a couple more times in the coming months. One of the thoughts I mulled over while writing that post was how the English language is grossly inadequate sometimes.
What should we call those people we've known for many years and are cordial with, but don't know well? How about those we're developing a relationship with, but haven't reached a level of intimacy with yet? Then there are the people we know from work, church, clubs or groups - we might enjoy their company and know them rather well, but are not intimate friends with them. What should we call these different types of people?
We need more "friend" words that include subtle variations and nuances.
I thought perhaps other languages could provide a solution, but after attempting several searches and modifying my search several times, I could not come up with an answer to which language had the most words for friend. However, during my search I tried the question, "How many ways are there to say friend in Swedish?" The first search result that appeared was, "20 ways to annoy a Swede". Not exactly what I was looking for.
Do you think we could use more words to describe different levels of friendship or would this just blow up in our faces and our "friends" would hate us because we ranked them at Friendship Level Five when they ranked us at Friendship Level Three?