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BFF - Does that even mean anything anymore? Options
26letters
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 12:30:42 AM
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I may be out of touch, but I remember when the term "best friends" was respected, admired and exclusive. (Sort of.) In this day and age when people can virtually promise you anything - but deliver nothing, do people even experience a sense of loyalty to someone (physically) close anymore?

It seems that so many would rather distance themselves from those who are physically close; such as husbands, children, parents, etc. and pursue relationships that are as solid as air - online.

This whole "virtual" thing has taken a toll on everyone, including the dreamer who thinks he/she can find a lasting relationship with a stranger.

While it's true that some have found their "one and only" online, most are like hummingbirds, flitting from flower to flower, seeking only enough substance to satisfy this minute's needs - with no intention of following through with "oh, I'll do anything for you!" or "you mean everything to me!" or "You can count on me! or even, "this purchase was A+++++++!!!!!" (when it's really as ordinary as every other purchase.)

Have people lost the ability to be loyal to someone "forever"? Everything else in life is made to be disposed of. Why does it seem that people - real people, seem to be tossed out with the trash too?

(Just a little input from your neighbourhood cynic. Silenced )
Geeman
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 12:58:44 AM

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Did "BFF" ever really mean anything? The abbreviation always struck me as vapid. To vapid to really encompass anything having to do with loyalty or even what most folks would consider friendship.

I take your point regarding the nature of loyalty in modern society, though. It is a problematic thing. I've heard a lot of people complain about the lack of loyalty to companies or co-workers. However, I can't help but think that's a byproduct of the fact that loyalty is something that goes both up and down. That is, it mostly flows from the "little people" up towards the "bosses" but it also goes the other way around. Bosses (or management or leaders, whatever one wants to call them) have to be loyal to the people who are loyal to them. There seems to be increasinly less loyalty from the top end of relationships these days. People are increasingly discarded with casual, even disdainful ease. Loyalty from the bottom up seems to be lagging behind in the trend, but as it is recognized by the "little people" they seem to respond in kind (or unkind, if you take my drift.)

I can't help but think this kind of thing represents a sort of generalized cultural trend. As loyalty chains break down in public relationships they influence attitudes towards private ones as well. Concepts like friendship, loyalty, alliance, patriotism and teamwork seem to have been replaced with a sort of generalized marketing. Rather than actually do anything to support a cause, people would rather chant a meaningless or near meaningless slogan. People wear brand names as if they were associations with family or clan affiliations. Rather than have life-long friends, most people have a series of serial friendships that they are content to trade in on a more or less regular basis.

I haven't got numbers or anything to back that kind of thing up, but it is my impression.
Seth
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 1:55:25 AM
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BFF, in Vancouver one of my friend used to refer to it as "Best fuck*** friend" ... Basically between a fling and a serious relationship. So no, I don't think it has anymore the meaning you were implementing to it.

Then , yeah, people are distant and you're right ... but We are probably the same. I've been so disappointed by close people that I'd rather consider new comers as "recyclable" friends / throwable / trashable and use them to their fullest until I don't feel any need or interest in which case I'd dump'em.

Why is that so ? well example, three days ago, my landlady told me that I could stay 3 months more. Yesterday, she announced me that I had to go in a week because first we don't share the same values (she loves India and Mantras, I like heavy metal and gore movies. She is 60, I'm less than 20) second, she had planned something about the house a while ago and didn't give me any wind of it. Of course she is saying that if I was listening to mantras and interested in spirituality she'd see things in a different way.

When old people that lived with other values give you that cr** and throw you in such a strait you can't really trust anyone anymore, and you start preferring flings online. this leads to a certain ... selfishness and preclude you from ever trying to help people again since you think they wouldn't do it for you. Basically mistrust brings more mistrust and even more mistrust and everybody is engulfed in it. Nice people are rare anywhere now, and I wouldn't ever try to be one. I would be food for straydogs.
Modvind
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 7:05:41 AM
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@Seth

Couldn't help but post seeing as you are in Japan too. Is it just me, or are people more shallow over here? I'm Danish and have a load of really good friends back home. Of course there are plenty of people not worth trusting back there too, but here it just seems like everybody doesn't give a s**t above what is expected from the social norm. And yet, most people seem really lonely.

Probably the above posters are right, distrust begets distrust.
I for one prefer honesty, but when confronted with a world seemingly teeming with people who will think nothing of lying through their teeth to gain your trust, use you for whatever they need, then flush you out the toilet like a dead cockroach, well, you stop expecting anything from anyone.

It's sad really, in my experience strong bonds are a source of much joy and happiness.
redgriffin
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 12:07:45 PM
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BFF is texting slang for Best Friend Forever.
Vickster
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 12:42:17 PM
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everything is very plastic. I don't trust anyone because most will say anything to get what they want... and have no meaning it what they say...

Although... My 2 year old told me I was his best friend and asked if I were his... awwww of course I am...and always will be... I love you... (sniff sniff)
sisikou
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 12:44:49 PM
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If you have one or two BFF, think it as a bonus. (quote from my friend)
almostfreebird
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 1:15:04 PM
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I remember asking "What does BFF mean?" on MySpace, and she said "It means Best Friend Forever".
I always thought it was something like Big Fat Friend.
Cass
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 6:46:41 PM
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The first time I heard about a BFF was when reading something about Paris Hilton.

Need I say more?
blue2
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:07:56 AM

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Kids here have been using BFF for ages. I have no idea where they got it from. Mostly young girls: pre and early teens write in on their school books, note books, desks, walls - yes, kids do that here...

And I'm sure it does not mean anything.
Adriaticus
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 3:30:57 AM
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Never heard it before, but the thread gives me the chance to ponder over this thing.

10 years ago I went to work in Asia and I was quite shocked by the fact that most of the relationships started and ended over the net. Friends, boy/girlfriends, etc. Youngsters life was on the net.
In my country it wasn't like that...yet. You meet people, build relationships and hang out together before anything else would happen. Now, after 10 years here it's exactly the same. the backyards around my house are empty. No kids voices or playing. They're all home, glued to their netbook.
Once relationship becomes virtual, it's easy to make new friends and start relationships and also cut them loose.But I'm wondering how our brain lives that, since emotions and feelings often are very real.
Today I have many virtual friends because of common interests and activities.People all over the world I will probably never meet. Only in few cases that happened and was nice. But I'm not a kid anymore since long time and we met because of activities in common for a competition, not because of romance.
Still over 500 virtual friends leaves you empty like your stomach after a fastfood meal. So I started to look back at my early years and found that my best friends are still those I grew up together, had fun and adventures with, cut and bruised my knees together playing in the yard.
Will our kids be able to do the same or somehow they are missing something? I think so.
almostfreebird
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 8:53:41 AM
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Anyway everything changed after Internet, 9/11, 3/11.You can't go back to Walt Disney World.
kitten
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:00:34 AM
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I am going to show my age and ignorance here.

I don't own a mobile, any new music download thingy, a reader, belong to facebook and I don't twitter. I loath text speak.

Truth be told I don't understand the BFF thing????? You go on line and "friend" people you have never met, or likely to meet and perhaps these "friends" aren't who they say they are because with photoshop you can be anyone.

I would call "them" more of an acquaintance rather than a friend.

ac·quain·tance (-kwntns)
n.
1.
a. Knowledge of a person acquired by a relationship less intimate than friendship.
b. A relationship based on such knowledge: struck up an acquaintance with our new neighbor.
2. A person whom one knows.
3. Knowledge or information about something or someone: has a passing acquaintance with Chinese history.

ac·quaintance·ship n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

acquaintance [əˈkweɪntəns]
n
1. a person with whom one has been in contact but who is not a close friend
2. knowledge of a person or thing, esp when slight
make the acquaintance of to come into social contact with
4. those persons collectively whom one knows
5. (Philosophy) Philosophy the relation between a knower and the object of his knowledge, as contrasted with knowledge by description (esp in the phrase knowledge by acquaintance)
acquaintanceship n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


I don't get it. Eh? Think

When Charlie Sheen was having his public meltdown. He got a twitter account and suddenly had thousands of "friends." How could these people be friends????

I don't understand this need to count how many "friends" you have as though it were a high school popularity contest.

BFF is just BS in my eyes, but this is only my opinion.



peace out, >^,,^<
26letters
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:40:42 PM
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Geeman Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 12:58:44 AM
Rather than actually do anything to support a cause, people would rather chant a meaningless or near meaningless slogan. ... Rather than have life-long friends, most people have a series of serial friendships that they are content to trade in on a more or less regular basis.

26letters writes: Geeman, you make some good points. The problem with having serial friendships is that a person really does not have to develop character or self-improvement. Whereas with long-term friendships, usually a person will be or become a better person to maintain the relationship.

Regarding chanting meaningless slogans: It's bound to give a person the appearance of support, that really isn't there at all. Too many find that when need arises, friends become scarce.

By the way, when I first learned of the term "BFF" and it's meaning "Best Friends Forever", I thought it was meant the way it always was. That lasted until I realized Paris Hilton had turned it into a contest. Phht.

26letters
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 2:01:31 PM
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Seth Posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 1:55:25 AM
Then , yeah, people are distant and you're right ... but We are probably the same. I've been so disappointed by close people that I'd rather consider new comers as "recyclable" friends / throwable / trashable and use them to their fullest until I don't feel any need or interest in which case I'd dump'em.

When old people that lived with other values give you that cr** and throw you in such a strait you can't really trust anyone anymore, and you start preferring flings online. this leads to a certain ... selfishness and preclude you from ever trying to help people again since you think they wouldn't do it for you. Basically mistrust brings more mistrust and even more mistrust and everybody is engulfed in it. Nice people are rare anywhere now, and I wouldn't ever try to be one. I would be food for straydogs.


26letters writes: Interesting response! I've experienced the same thing throughout life, to the point that I don't trust anyone anymore, until I know them well. However several years ago, I realized that my feelings of distrust impacted my personal happiness. Hating people can be a very confining experience. I've come to the point that I don't hate anybody - and it's very liberating! We're all in the same boat. We all have the same needs and most respond to humane acts of kindness.

That doesn't mean I trust people. I still keep a safe enough distance, while wanting to do whatever I can to make even a small difference in their lives. This is good for me! It's what keeps me civil, human, dignified, - I'm not sure exactly how to explain it. But by personal experience I've found that I am much happier giving of myself, even to those who do not appreciate it. In other words, I will not allow myself to be conquered by the world's negativism.

Wanderer
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 5:38:54 PM

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Seth said "Nice people are rare anywhere now, and I wouldn't ever try to be one. I would be food for straydogs. "

I am so sorry that you have been treated so badly but I don't think you will be food for the dogs just by being nice. Of course, everyone needs to be cautious, but you can be nice without having a personal relationship. I see so many rude, arrogant people these days. They act like the things they are doing and the places they going are more important than yours. I try to stay out of their way. "Speed on brother, hell ain't half full."
boneyfriend
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 7:13:41 PM

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I am very lucky in one respect and not so lucky in another. I have always had many many girlfriends. I'd say 5-6 of them very close. I get along with women very well. They are easy and comfortable to me. I am included with many different groups of women to go on houseparties and luncheons and such. But men, that is another story. The biggest disappointment in my life.
I like men but they don't like me. I'm a senior citizen now so it really matters little as my life is full with my son and my hobbies. But this empty side of me has always bothered me. I have never known how to flirt or be coy. I am very matter of fact. And I would love the special companionship that a man offers. There is nothing like it.
When we were young, slowly all of my girlfriends began dating and I never did but I was always so shy around men. I think I was so frightened of rejection by them. I never had a date in high school or in college. Or if I did it was with somebody whom I didn't count.
I can't believe I am pouring this out on this forum. This is my most personal pain. Let me go back to playing games.
26letters
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:16:26 PM
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Adriaticus Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 3:30:57 AM
Still over 500 virtual friends leaves you empty like your stomach after a fastfood meal.

26letters writes: I'll have to find it, but recently I was reading that young people are actually lonelier and more insecure than ever, especially the ones who spend most of their human connection time online.

boneyfriend, I'm so sorry that life has left something missing. Thank you for sharing the insight you have from your experience. I hope things improve for you!
kitten
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:38:52 PM
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Wanderer wrote:
Seth said "Nice people are rare anywhere now, and I wouldn't ever try to be one. I would be food for straydogs. "

I am so sorry that you have been treated so badly but I don't think you will be food for the dogs just by being nice. Of course, everyone needs to be cautious, but you can be nice without having a personal relationship. I see so many rude, arrogant people these days. They act like the things they are doing and the places they going are more important than yours. I try to stay out of their way. "Speed on brother, hell ain't half full."


Wanderer, I needed that after today. I may use it as my siggy.Anxious I agree just step out of the way and let them speed by.

[image not available]


[image not available]


[image not available]


>^,,^<
Bwell
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 12:34:07 AM
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Best Friends come and go. Nothing is forever. BFF isn't a thing of the past. It's just three letters.
srirr
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 12:36:43 AM

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I have also seen/heard teens saying that they have three best friends, and she is the bestest.
26letters
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 1:00:29 AM
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Ok, now I have to make a confession. I actually had a completely different thought when I posted this topic and from the get-go I took another tack. (I don't why, but my husband keeps saying things about ADD not just affecting males.)

My original thought dealt with whether being declared as a "best friend" meant the feeling had to mutual and exclusive. For example, there have been times when someone told me I was their best friend. I truly appreciated their trust and the value they placed on me. However, as much as I cared for them, I didn't want to be viewed as an exclusive friend. I wanted to be part of a community of good friends and I hoped that he/she would also widen out and see the benefit of a social construct. (That's probably a lot easier to do when you're already married to your best friend.)

I also know the pain of being on the other side, thinking that I had an exclusive friend who would see me as their confidante - the one they could say anything to without repercussions and the one they would choose to invite for whatever was going on; only to find that I was only viewed as an acquaintance who was fun, but a second choice. (That really hurts when you're only 11 years old.)

Friendship is complicated and I've come to the conclusion that I will be the best friend that I can be to the person I am talking to, while being loyal to the people I talked to before that.

Romany
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 2:34:37 AM
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Well I first heard about BFF's on SouthPark, so I guess my understanding of the term was skewed from the start!

I thought, having said my piece before, it's sort of redundant for me to keep popping up like Pollyanna and warbling brightly on about how much faith I have in people. But I did get to thinking:-

Going back as far as the Greeks we come across texts bewailing humanity in our "modern" times. Expressions of disappointment in our peers, the feeling that people don't uphold the old values any more and that "everyone" is out to get us in a dog-eat-dog world, keep getting repeated down the ages.

Perhaps what it is really is the dichotomy we experience between our expections and reality? As children and even young adults many of us are surrounded by family and friends who support the world-view we have gleaned from story-books: the good will be rewarded, the bad punished; kindness to others ensures reciprication; love is forever.

Once we get out in the world we are brought into contact with people whose views, background, education, morals and experiences differ markedly from our own. And most of us get our hearts broken somewhere along the way too, and learn that love is not necessarily constant but ephemeral. Disillusionment sets in and colours our world view.

The ever-present media, squatting like a malignant toad in most of our houses and spewing forth a constant litany of distrust, betrayal,bad behaviour and inhumanity from our computers, tv, radio, newspapers, plays a large role too. We never read "Woman in the Corner Shop Gives another Customer 20cents to Complete Purchases" or "Young Boy compliments Total Stranger Crossing the Road". But these things happen all the time as well.

I honestly don't think humanity has changed for the worst: I think it is we who change once we realise that "happily ever after" is not a truism but really is part of a fairy tale.



Vickster
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 8:31:10 AM
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I have never had or been anyone's BFF (best friend) I guess I have never let someone get that close or been close to anyone... I do have a trust issue... I don't trust men and I have never really gotten along with woman... I think they look at me as competition or feel I'm going to invade in their relationships... I've been ditchedas a friend as soon as "a friend" gets into a relationship so many times I can't even count.. as if I were going to steal him away... which I have never done..but have had it done to me... which sucks btw... especially when you think they are your freind and they do that to you... I have always had "just aquaintances," nothing more... it is a sad and lonely life not being able to find someone who truly cares for you and takes you for who you truly are... with no judgements..or criticisms... and I have always wished that one day I could find that rare person who I can allow to relax and be close to...someone who enjoys my company and me... now, being older with a two year old I don't have the time to find a friend..or a lover for that matter... but then again... it is a scary thing to let your guard down only to be shot down once again...renewing that distrust for people...
Shadowman113
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 8:33:37 PM
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Its do damn pointless is this evan a conversation worth having
26letters
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 10:37:50 PM
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Not with you.
Jai Majala
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:10:59 PM
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26letters wrote:
Not with you.


Hold up now. I agree that having friends is important, and I'm probably more strict in my definition of such than any of you. However, he may have a point. We all acknowledge the cultural problem, but this topic seems as if you're just complaining about it. I have seen no realistic solutions. And by the way, that's no way to make friends.
26letters
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:41:58 PM
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Jai Majala Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:10:59 PM
Hold up now. I agree that having friends is important, and I'm probably more strict in my definition of such than any of you. However, he may have a point. We all acknowledge the cultural problem, but this topic seems as if you're just complaining about it. I have seen no realistic solutions. And by the way, that's no way to make friends.


26letters writes: Hi Jai. (or Hi Hi. :) At that rate, I imagine most of the topics posted here would seem to be "just complaining", since most state an observation open to various opinions. "What do you think?" is followed by "I think it's good." or "I think it's bad." Come to think of it, that defines the media in general.

Regarding realistic solutions: I've offered a few. Is this topic really outweighed by other topics that offered realistic solutions?

Regarding my response to Shadowman113: It was an honest answer to his question. He obviously saw this whole thing as pointless (which makes me wonder why he even read it in the first place - maybe it really was relevant.) He made it clear that this is a conversation not worth having. To someone else it might be, but not with him.

Jai Majala
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:49:06 PM
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26letters wrote:

26letters writes: Hi Jai. (or Hi Hi. :) At that rate, I imagine most of the topics posted here would seem to be "just complaining", since most state an observation open to various opinions. "What do you think?" is followed by "I think it's good." or "I think it's bad." Come to think of it, that defines the media in general.

Regarding realistic solutions: I've offered a few. Is this topic really outweighed by other topics that offered realistic solutions?

Regarding my response to Shadowman113: It was an honest answer to his question. He obviously saw this whole thing as pointless (which makes me wonder why he even read it in the first place - maybe it really was relevant.) He made it clear that this is a conversation not worth having. To someone else it might be, but not with him.



It's actually pronounced with a 'J', but thank you for actually caring. Most people don't. Or you're mocking me. It's hard to tell without a face... I've noticed that you're right. Most topics are complaining and don't get anything done. Do I like to complain? Yes, I am right now. But it's still good to offer viable solutions with your opinion. As for being outweighed, not really. I'll admit I haven't been on the boards too long, but I've noticed in almost all topics I have read, the issue seems to be more about "Oh, I don't like this" or "I don't like that", and there seems to be a dearth of ideas. You could argue that it's all opinion in the end, but that's not helpful. I'm surprised, being the intelligent person that I gather you are, that you would choose to not only acknowledge a useless and unintelligent post such as his, but respond to it in an almost as petulant and petty way.

Thanks,
Jai.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:56:46 PM
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26letters - I'm with you 100% on this one.

As to your reply "not being the way to make friends"? The comment you were referring to was not exactly overflowing with the milk of human kindness, was it?

The purpose of a forum is to generate discussion - positive, negative or middle of the road. If a particular topic doesn't seem worth discussion to a participant that's their prerogative, of course but hey, if they don't want to play in the sandpit, they can always go try the swings.
Rusty
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 1:41:14 AM
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This is a very interesting topic, so please continue the discussion. Reading the replies, I gather that most people here don't trust others much, so how will others trust you? It's give and take really.

As far as my perception of things go, it has more to do with being a little self centered. Like your own emotions, personal choice and freedom are more important. What are your priorities in life? Do freinds come in top three?

I have a very good freind whose group of freinds are all career focussed modern individuals. They hug a lot, party together, celebrate life etc. but they are not the kind who will stand by him when he needs them the most. And this guy has always attracted friends like that. Really decent, educated people but something somewhere is shallow.

My core group of freinds again consists of extremely ambitious career oriented people. But they are the kind who will stand by me. From school and college, none from work. The reason to me seems to be tribe mentality. Me and my freinds stick together no matter what. We don't judge each other on the basis of right and wrong, we are a tribe. And I have always attracted freinds like that. I also have people who, to me, seem to be selfish but frankly I have never had to worry about being backstabbed, they wouldn't dare because they know I will come after them. My tribe will come after them.

And no we are not criminals, no vendetta or such till now. Me and most of my freinds are mechanical engineers, one software engineer.
26letters
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 3:09:25 PM
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Jai Majala Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:49:06 PM
I'm surprised ... that you would ... respond to it in an almost as petulant and petty way.


26letters writes: Hi Jai (Now is that the English J as in jelly or the French J that sounds like Zsa Zsa?) I can't seem to get the word "petulant" out of my head, so I just have to write my mangled meaning of it. (Yes, it's off-topic)

petulant: giving someone a cherished creature or thing, on a temporary basis; as in, "I'm returning the petulant me."


Romany: I actually typed a response to your funny playground comparison, but as I was wandering down memory lane, my dial-up connection failed and I lost the post. It was something about sandboxes and trebuchets.
Jai Majala
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 9:14:33 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 2/28/2011
Posts: 82
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Location: United States
26letters wrote:
Jai Majala Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:49:06 PM
I'm surprised ... that you would ... respond to it in an almost as petulant and petty way.


26letters writes: Hi Jai (Now is that the English J as in jelly or the French J that sounds like Zsa Zsa?) I can't seem to get the word "petulant" out of my head, so I just have to write my mangled meaning of it. (Yes, it's off-topic)

petulant: giving someone a cherished creature or thing, on a temporary basis; as in, "I'm returning the petulant me."


Romany: I actually typed a response to your funny playground comparison, but as I was wandering down memory lane, my dial-up connection failed and I lost the post. It was something about sandboxes and trebuchets.


It's an English J. You basically say Ji with a long 'I' sound.

Petulant means childish. That's how my dictionary widget describes it.

Screenshot of Widget Definition:


[image not available]


I have no idea where you got your definition, but it ain't right.
26letters
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 10:18:56 PM
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Joined: 5/25/2009
Posts: 679
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Location: Your keyboard. (USA)
Jai Majala Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 9:14:33 PM
I have no idea where you got your definition, but it ain't right.


26letters writes: I know. That's why I called it my mangled meaning. Petulant is just one of those words that's begging to be mangled.

I used to have what was called a "Left-handed Dictionary". I couldn't resist buying it - I'm left-handed. It had definitions that you would never read in a real dictionary. For example: Illegal = a sick bird.

Oh well.

Romany
Posted: Friday, June 17, 2011 2:33:40 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,685
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
26 letters - ah, but at least you got the fact that my reference to playgrounds was just another way of referencing petulance! But trebuchets? Damn! Wish I'd gone to YOUR school!
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