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"Frienemy" – Bleccchh

By - December 05, 2006

Please. Please. PLEASE stop using this word (WPP boss Martin Sorrell on Google yesterday). Why? I hate it. Isn’t that enough? No? Ok, well, perhaps stop using because it’s a cop out – a way of not dealing with a company that represents in a nutshell the need for major media companies to confront shifts in their audiences, content producers, and business models. Leaning on words like “frienemy” and patting oneself on the back for coming up with them (and please, the word is as old as the hills) is simply a delaying tactic. (NBC has taken to the word as well, ahead of WPP, if anyone is counting). I hate this word nearly as much as I hate the word “Coopetition”. There’s no such thing. You are competing, period. Perhaps one way you compete is to partner with them, so as to keep them close. But don’t tell me a competitor is your friend.

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3 thoughts on “"Frienemy" – Bleccchh

  1. Chris L says:

    Old as the hills, maybe not. An interesting use of Google Book Search is to find the earliest printed use of a word, in this case it goes back to 2003:

    Not perfect, but a neat example of how even in-copyright books can have value in digitized form without violating fair use.

  2. sec says:

    d’oh, err….older-er: (1998)