Whether it’s a clown at a birthday party, Broadway show, stadium rock concert or your friends fighting over the last potato chip, entertainment is anything that diverts or amuses us. It comes from the old French entretenir, which had to do with hospitality, as in “to keep a guest.” Entertaiment now applies more broadly to anything that provides pleasure, diversion or distraction—whether it’s a play, movie, video game, restaurant meal or solving the daily crossword puzzle.
We’ve all been there: Loading up the iPod with music, trading it with our pals and then downloading even more on the free marketplace. But, what’s entertaining for one group or individual may not be the same for another. This diversity is the essence of entertainment. It makes us all a little more human, a little bit less same.