I think the English language is lacking some words. Descriptive words. Words for the most important things of all. One of the most often repeated facts you're likely to hear is that the Eskimo people have x number of words for snow. What this fact does not impart is the brilliance of this, its usefulness. If you live in the frozen Arctic Tundra, it's no good telling someone that it snowed. Of course it snowed. What kind is it? That's what you really need to know. You don't want to be wearing the snowshoe for fluffy snow only to find that it's that gritty, powdery stuff. Things like that could easily save your life, even, if you find yourself getting chased by a polar bear or a walrus.
I think English doesn't have enough words for love. Before you go all Roget on me, I am fully aware that it has plenty of synonyms for love. But what kind of love? I've heard it said that the vagueness and ambiguity of the English language is what gives British people their famous sense of humour. And this is undeniably the case, when you have to use the same word to express love for: a life partner, a best friend, a pet, a sister, a parent. Yes, that's right. You want to have sex with your cat. A ha ha ha.
In recent times I'd thought that the same thing applied to the word "best", in context of "best friend". That piece I linked to at the start brings it into sharp focus. It is, of course, possible to have more than one best friend. It is possible, too, for one individual to be many people's best friend. Someone could be no-one's best friend, but still a much loved individual to many people. The word "best" is misleading in this case.
However, I now think that this is an incidence where ambiguity is a good and necessary thing. To call anything "best" implies that all other things are left wanting. How can you make such a distinction when you are dealing with such a subjective, organic and emotive subject?
Television lies to us. On television, best friends come in distinct, reciprocal, pairs. Such perfect units do of course exist in real life. I know of one very good example off hand, where each has known the other for pretty much their entire lives. However, this isn't the norm. If you asked me to name the best friends of my friends, I reckon I might be able to take an educated guess in about 50% of the cases. Television would baulk at such grim odds. How would anyone know who to root for?
I probably have half a dozen or more people that I could, without fear of contradiction and with no implicit criticism of any of the others, happily describe as my best friend. I imagine that they all know who they are. Some of them I have told, which would make knowing who they are an easier piece of deduction. I don't know if anyone considers me to be their "best" friend, in the Hollywood sense. I suspect the answer is as delightfully vague as life and language themselves: sometimes yes, sometimes no. This isn't some sort of needy plea for attention, nor is it something which keeps me awake at night. I feel lucky and honoured to have the friends that I do. Semantics doesn't come into it.
Life is complicated, fraught and beautiful. It goes without saying that language is the same.