Friend. Americans use the term promiscuously. Their intentions are good, reflecting a country where everyone is from somewhere else. We are usually welcoming, convivial, and, at times, indiscriminate about who we hug or slap on the back. This can occasionally come at a cost; for example, when we use the word "friend" and actually mean something less. And it's no secret that technology has debased the definition. Just watch as devices around you beep or buzz, sending people pawing like Pavlov's dogs for electronic kibbles sent by "friends" who they've never even met.
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