Nicholas Tabarrok notices that entertainment industry Los Angelenos abuse the word:

We all know that different part of the country use different words ('soda' vs 'pop') and many industries have their own specific vocabulary.  I'm not sure which one of those two possibilities is at work here.  I'm curious if entertainment workers in New York use the work 'friend' in the same way it's done in LA or if people in LA who are not in the entertainment business (I hear there are a few of such people) use the term as I describe above?  Is it geographic or industry specific?