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Simon Parke: Words with substance

THE New Oxford American Diction­ary recently announced “unfriend” as its “New word of the year”. It is a verb, as in, for example: “That’s the final straw; I shall unfriend Benedict straight away.”

The word has emerged on social networking sites such as Facebook, and describes what you do when you no longer want contact with some­one who was previously your friend. With a simple click of the finger, Benedict is cast into the wasteland of ...

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