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juniper
07-01-2014, 09:48 PM
A few months back in the local newspaper a reporter referred to an "elderly woman." Reading on down I discovered she was in her late 50s.

In a thread here at AW * two people have called a woman aged 64 as

"... at her undesirable old age."

and

"an old lady ..."

I know it's relative - when someone is in her teens or early 20s the concept of "old" could be 40s - and then that creeps up as the person herself ages ...

But calling a woman age 64 years "old" seems a bit OTT.

"Middle-aged" doesn't seem appropriate either though - so what would come after "middle-aged" and before "old"? *

I work with the public in a medical setting and see all sorts of people. Some who are in their 40s seem older physically than others in their 70s. Depends on lifestyles and genetics, many times. So there's not a one-age-means-old distinction for me.

When you look at someone, when do you consider her "old"? *

.......
* http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=292444

* Yes, I know that the ? should be inside the " " for American grammar, but I prefer the logic of the British way in circumstances such as this. http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/quotation.htm

Kylabelle
07-01-2014, 09:58 PM
Well, my dear Juniper, having just turned 65, when I read one of those comments such as you listed, I laugh my ass off.

I remember, though, when I was in probably my late 30s and seeing some guy on Haight Street with a leather jacket that said on the back, "If it's too loud, you're too old" and I took big offense at that!

('Cause loud is almost always too loud for me but, eff him for that nasty attitude! Mrphf.)

At a certain point someone's age shows in their appearance more than does their youthfulness, and for some of us that point comes at younger years than for others.

I don't think it's insulting to be thought of as old or to call someone else old, either, by the way. Assuming what that *means* (like in the too loud comment) is insulting as hell.

I've been old for years, probably started when I was about 9 and noticed my forehead has lines which never go away. Frown lines like you make when you raise your eyebrows or, yanno, frown. Born to be old, I was.

:D

c.e.lawson
07-01-2014, 09:59 PM
Just having celebrated (well, tried to ignore, actually) my 49th birthday, I find this question to be rather pertinent. :) We are getting ready for a vacation at the beach, and this is the first year I considered wearing a tankini instead of the usual bikini. My daughter who is sixteen insisted I do not, telling me "Mom, don't give up - you're not old!". *sigh* So I've been working out and doing planks and 100 sit ups a night, LOL. And I color the gray in my hair. Often. And my joints feel stiff at times. But mentally I really don't feel older than I did in my late twenties. I work as a physician and there are some patients I would consider old who are in their late fifties, and others around 70 whom I wouldn't. It is a combination of health, energy, vitality and attitude, IMO. Difficult to prescribe an actual cut off, although after 70 seems like it's getting there. Describing someone in their 50s as elderly is completely harsh and incorrect, IMO. (Why does the word 'elderly' seem worse than 'old'?)

cray
07-01-2014, 09:59 PM
24

Kylabelle
07-01-2014, 10:01 PM
42

Gilroy Cullen
07-01-2014, 10:02 PM
Okay, so I seem to be the youngin reading this thread, since I stare at the big 4-0 this coming November.

To me... Old is a state of mind. If I still think and act young, I'm not old. My nephews call me old. (Course they aren't out of their teens yet, so ya know...)

When I start to feel my age, I intend to be two steps from the brown wooden box that will hold my earthly form...

Until I come back to another one. :)

Chase
07-01-2014, 10:22 PM
There is a clear break point between young and old. Young is 73 or less. Old is 74 and older.

Need an example? Old looks like this:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/customavatars/avatar8799_738.gif

(Note the expiration date) :D

Kylabelle
07-01-2014, 10:27 PM
There is a clear break point between young and old. Young is 73 or less. Old is 74 and older.

Until next year, that is, at which point mysterious conditions will have once again moved the aging process further away from present time.

Funny, how that works.

:D

cray
07-01-2014, 10:27 PM
*strolls in*

what? this thread is still going on?
i answered the question in post #4.

Marlys
07-01-2014, 10:29 PM
When they're ten years older than I am. Always.

quickWit
07-01-2014, 10:29 PM
In all fairness cray, I don't think this can be accurately quantified without taking boob size into account, as well.

Jerboa
07-01-2014, 10:33 PM
I'd say 70. Though both my grandparents are now in their 70s and still refer to the old folk as people other than themselves.

SWest
07-01-2014, 10:34 PM
Since qwie brought them up...

Old is when you aim your tits at someone and they call you Ma'am.

I hear.

:Shrug:

Fictional Cowboy
07-01-2014, 10:36 PM
Thoughts on any age are subjective. There are as many different answers as to what constitutes any age classification as there are people you ask. What's more, as with all things to do with political correctness, there's no pleasing everyone no matter how you phrase a person's age. I could call my 90 year old gramps an "old geezer" and he'd smile affectionately. But, someone else in the room would take it offensively.

I'm 48 and happy about it. I look forward to growing older. There's a saying about growing old that I believe is perfect. Although it's often worded in different ways, the sentiment is the same. "Despise not growing old. It's a privilege denied to many."

Age is simply a fact. People's comments about age, especially of their own, say a lot about themselves. Some are embarrassed, ashamed, secretive, prideful, resentful, angry, mocking, and/or insulting. Others are content, accepting, respectful and/or at peace with age.

Sadly, agism exists towards all ages but most especially older people. While looking for work last year, I was discriminated against because of my age. Some would get angry and sue. I considered it a blessing because I wouldn't want to work for any person or company who felt that way.

Inside, I still feel the same way I did when I was 22. But I do tend to use the word "old" when describing myself because of the way the world has changed. I don't recognize it anymore. What constitutes "entertainment" these days is very sad to me. I got rid of my TV set about 12 or 13 years ago and I don't miss it. I don't own any CDs or even a radio. The few things I enjoy watching and listening to I can find online free anyway.

Then there are the advances in technology. I've always embraced simplicity and refuse to change. No i-anything for me except my computer, which is an iMac. No smart phones, etc., I've never even owned a microwave. I enjoy living simply. A way of life that, for all modern thoughts and purposes, is outdated and irrelevant.

So, according to the ways of the world today, I'm a vintage relic. And you know what? That suits me just fine.

Kylabelle
07-01-2014, 10:48 PM
Juniper, also, that remark about the "undesirable age" of 64 had to do with the job market, I bet. Number of years does seem to correlate with increased difficulty finding a yob! And I couldn't cite anything to back this up but I kind of suspect it's worse for women than men.

But, hey. That's why God made retirement, right?

cray
07-01-2014, 10:50 PM
Since qwie brought them up...

Old is when you aim your tits at someone and they call you Ma'am.

I hear.

:Shrug:




my eyes are up here, swest!
gah!

SWest
07-01-2014, 10:52 PM
my eyes are up here, swest!
gah!

Sorry, Sir.

Did you find everything you needed today?

:D

Cella
07-01-2014, 10:55 PM
I think people should just be called by their names...that's what they are for.

KellyAssauer
07-01-2014, 10:56 PM
what? this thread is still going on?
i answered the question in post #4.

cray sweetie, the question was:
at what age does someone become old...

Might wanna stick to things you know something about.
You'll get teased less.

(See how I'm watching out for you?) :D

swachski
07-01-2014, 10:57 PM
If qW's correlation is correct, he and cray must be ancient..

SWest
07-01-2014, 10:57 PM
I think people should just be called by their names...that's what they are for.

You're saying I'd be younger if I had a better publicist?

:D

Cella
07-01-2014, 10:59 PM
he and cray must be ancient..

That's hawt...

Cella
07-01-2014, 11:00 PM
You're saying I'd be younger if I had a better publicist?

:D

I'm just saying that it's unnecessary to call someone an old tub of lard instead of just saying Cella.

Gringa
07-01-2014, 11:02 PM
so what would come after "middle-aged" and before "old"?

Mature, seasoned

SWest
07-01-2014, 11:04 PM
I'm just saying that it's unnecessary to call someone an old tub of lard instead of just saying Cella.

My memory is not what it used to be...

swachski
07-01-2014, 11:04 PM
I'm just saying that it's unnecessary to call someone an old tub of lard instead of just saying Cella.

Yeah.. *blushes*... sorry about that, hon..

SWest
07-01-2014, 11:08 PM
Mature, seasoned

Persistent.

;)

aruna
07-01-2014, 11:10 PM
Going on 63, and never felt younger! I would not be 24 again for --- um --- being a no 1 NYT bestseller? No way. Not for anything! I feel my life is just starting, that up to now it was all just rehearsal.

Gringa
07-01-2014, 11:12 PM
Persistent.

;)

Yep...

williemeikle
07-01-2014, 11:14 PM
Mature, seasoned

Or, in my case, pickled.

Gringa
07-01-2014, 11:16 PM
Or, in my case, pickled.

Then you might be a seasoned pickle?

Siri Kirpal
07-01-2014, 11:18 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I'm 61. I'm younger now that I was at age 25, despite the gray hairs and a few assorted physical this's and that's.

I do refer to myself sometimes as the elder crone, when some young thing on board needs an ounce of wisdom from someone who's been there and done that.

I'm more bothered by the little kids in their 20s, who show up and insist they're too old to write. (HUH??)

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

regdog
07-01-2014, 11:22 PM
You become old as soon as you think you are.

Me-I'll be a kid until I die, age has nothing to do with it.

Kylabelle
07-02-2014, 12:23 AM
In reality, we're all ageless. We just gain attributes, and possibly also lose a few here and there along the way.

scifi_boy2002
07-02-2014, 12:23 AM
My dad started two businesses (he already had one) and had another child after he turned 50. He is 78 now and still going stronge. He gets around better than I do.

Lavern08
07-02-2014, 05:35 PM
It's all about attitude...

I'm 61.5, and when I turned 60, I couldn't wait to take advantage of "Senior Citizen Discounts."

I play the "Old Lady" card every chance I get. :D

Chase
07-02-2014, 05:54 PM
I'm just saying that it's unnecessary to call someone an old tub of lard instead of just saying Cella.

Cella, my dear, who called you an old tub of lard? Who? Point out the cad for immediate thrashing. It's not true. You're a young urn of buttery curves.

stormie
07-02-2014, 06:06 PM
I'm staring 60 in the face and sticking my tongue out at it.

When I'm 80 or 90 I will not be "elderly" or "old." Just give me my damn discounts.

:D

Cathy C
07-02-2014, 07:04 PM
What used to be "old" in the 50s is no longer true because of better nutrition and health care.

Since retirement is now 70 or 72, I would estimate "old" to be considered a decade after that, so 80+. People actually dying of illnesses attributable to old age are usually 85+. JMHO.

swachski
07-02-2014, 07:43 PM
It's all about attitude...

I'm 61.5, and when I turned 60...

Let me tell you, that was some party too!



Or so I heard..

jjdebenedictis
07-02-2014, 07:47 PM
Old = tired.

When I feel tired, then I'm old. When I feel zippy, then I'm still young.

When it comes to other people, I like Marlys' definition: Ten years older than me.

Fictional Cowboy
07-02-2014, 09:16 PM
But calling a woman age 64 years "old" seems a bit OTT.

"Middle-aged" doesn't seem appropriate either though - so what would come after "middle-aged" and before "old"? *

Denial.

Just like books, life has a beginning, a middle and an end. In plain terms, if someone lives until they're 90 and you divide the beginning (young), middle (middle-age) and end (old) into thirds, that leaves 61 and up as the final third.

At 64, you're technically and legally a senior citizen, entitled to all the rights and privileges of one that society gives. So, technically, a 64 year old is old. But who said being old is automatically a bad thing?

The kicker is, technically, there are no rules for how you have to feel or live when you're old. No one said being old means you have to be slow in body and mind. You don't have to live decrepitly, as if you're a wind-up toy that's winding down.

That's why old people in the news are inspirational for the things they do. They give everyone else hope and motivation; something to strive for.

aruna
07-02-2014, 09:44 PM
Just like books, life has a beginning, a middle and an end. In plain terms, if someone lives until they're 90 and you divide the beginning (young), middle (middle-age) and end (old) into thirds, that leaves 61 and up as the final third.

Actually, the right word for the 50's to the mid-seventies (depending, of course, on just how that mid-seventy person looks/feels/behaves,) is older

You don't suddenly stop being young when you turn 30 (or whatever) and suddenly start being old when you turn 60. Ageing is a gradual process, a sliding scale. We start to be that older, senior citizen in our 50's and progress into it in our 60's. And it's a wonderful thing. True, wisdom doesn't come automatically when you grow old, but we have decades more experience and if we have lived good lives it should start getting better at this age.

I come from a culture in which old people are revered and respected, so I have no fear of growing old. But I also work with geriatric patients in a hospital, and there is a huge difference between people my age, and the truly old. I had to laugh today; one patient was incorrectly tagged at being 55, and the head nurse of the ward was complaining about the mistake; "if she's 55", she said, "then I'm 25!" It turned out the patient was in her 80's. Yes, huge difference between 60 and 80, and they should not be in the same bracket.

So no, I don't agree with describing 60-year olds as "old". Maybe to a 20 year old they are, but not in the neutral, grand scheme of things.

RNJ
07-02-2014, 10:02 PM
"It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage." Indiana Jones

juniper
07-02-2014, 10:07 PM
Just like books, life has a beginning, a middle and an end.

Ah, but consider the structure of Freytag's Pyramid - good explanation here:

http://quickbase.intuit.com/articles/an-online-resource-guide-to-freytags-pyramid

In which he outlines 5 parts of a novel:


Exposition > Inciting Incident
Rising Action
Climax
Falling Action > Resolution
Denouement


For many people, perhaps this:

Exposition = birth, inciting incident could be teens? Or going off to college?
Rising Action = high school / college to late 20s, 30s
Climax = 40s-50s?
Falling Action = 60s, 70s, resolution could be retirement
Denouement = end stage of life, ultimately death

The timeline would be different for each person, and maybe some would go from falling action back to rising action (new adventures, marrying again, etc), but the basic pattern might fit.

Life is too complicated to fit neatly into beginning, middle, end.

http://i1371.photobucket.com/albums/ag313/whoiskat/freytag_zps855fe24a.jpg (http://s1371.photobucket.com/user/whoiskat/media/freytag_zps855fe24a.jpg.html)

Lilly
07-02-2014, 11:33 PM
When you look at someone, when do you consider her "old"?


I donít look at people any more, except if they might be of use for a story :)

Maybe Iím old :Shrug:

Lilly

Fictional Cowboy
07-02-2014, 11:46 PM
Actually, the right word for the 50's to the mid-seventies (depending, of course, on just how that mid-seventy person looks/feels/behaves,) is older

You don't suddenly stop being young when you turn 30 (or whatever) and suddenly start being old when you turn 60. Ageing is a gradual process, a sliding scale. We start to be that older, senior citizen in our 50's and progress into it in our 60's. And it's a wonderful thing. True, wisdom doesn't come automatically when you grow old, but we have decades more experience and if we have lived good lives it should start getting better at this age.

I come from a culture in which old people are revered and respected, so I have no fear of growing old. But I also work with geriatric patients in a hospital, and there is a huge difference between people my age, and the truly old. I had to laugh today; one patient was incorrectly tagged at being 55, and the head nurse of the ward was complaining about the mistake; "if she's 55", she said, "then I'm 25!" It turned out the patient was in her 80's. Yes, huge difference between 60 and 80, and they should not be in the same bracket.

So no, I don't agree with describing 60-year olds as "old". Maybe to a 20 year old they are, but not in the neutral, grand scheme of things.

Read the first of my two posts in this thread.

swachski
07-02-2014, 11:49 PM
Denial.

Just like books, life has a beginning, a middle and an end. In plain terms, if someone lives until they're 90 and you divide the beginning (young), middle (middle-age) and end (old) into thirds, that leaves 61 and up as the final third.



I like this analogy. What a shame it would be if everyone thought the first third of a book was always the best part. Every chapter is a crucial piece of the whole, and just as precious.

Fictional Cowboy
07-03-2014, 12:05 AM
Ah, but consider the structure of Freytag's Pyramid - good explanation here:

http://quickbase.intuit.com/articles/an-online-resource-guide-to-freytags-pyramid

In which he outlines 5 parts of a novel:


Exposition > Inciting Incident
Rising Action
Climax
Falling Action > Resolution
Denouement


For many people, perhaps this:

Exposition = birth, inciting incident could be teens? Or going off to college?
Rising Action = high school / college to late 20s, 30s
Climax = 40s-50s?
Falling Action = 60s, 70s, resolution could be retirement
Denouement = end stage of life, ultimately death

The timeline would be different for each person, and maybe some would go from falling action back to rising action (new adventures, marrying again, etc), but the basic pattern might fit.

Life is too complicated to fit neatly into beginning, middle, end.

http://i1371.photobucket.com/albums/ag313/whoiskat/freytag_zps855fe24a.jpg (http://s1371.photobucket.com/user/whoiskat/media/freytag_zps855fe24a.jpg.html)

Throw in a prologue and an epilogue and we can live to 130! There are a lot of ways to view it, to be sure. My personal thoughts are still in the first post I made to this thread. The OP sounded like she was asking a serious question so, I responded seriously. Since most of the other responses were humorous, I thought I'd throw my "denial" comment in there!

I still believe people who are afraid of growing old, or the label, or the connotation of growing old, will dissect the subject down to it's molecular structure in order to avoid it. When simply put, life does have a beginning, a middle, and an end. But, if the book analogy doesn't work for people, that's fine.

Statistically, given the average life expectancy today (79.8 years according to the World Health Organization), as well as the age deemed as "senior citizen" by society for AARP, discounts, etc., 64 definitely qualifies as "old." But how a person feels and lives during old age is up to them. (Again, see my first post.)

Mclesh
07-03-2014, 12:26 AM
Old is always twenty years away from where I currently reside. :D

Ken
07-03-2014, 04:19 AM
I think people should just be called by their names...that's what they are for.

Me too :-)

Vito
07-03-2014, 04:43 AM
I think it's all about perspective. If you're constantly looking back, regretting your mistakes and desperately clinging to your triumphs, then you are hopelessly old.

If you're courageously looking toward the future, ready to triumph yet prepared to roll with the setbacks, then you are...young, my friends.

C.bronco
07-03-2014, 06:42 AM
Some people are old while everyone else their age is young and vital. It has more to do with who is still going and who has given up.

stormie
07-03-2014, 05:26 PM
Some people are old while everyone else their age is young and vital. It has more to do with who is still going and who has given up.
Yes.

aruna
07-03-2014, 05:34 PM
I think it's all about perspective. If you're constantly looking back, regretting your mistakes and desperately clinging to your triumphs, then you are hopelessly old.

If you're courageously looking toward the future, ready to triumph yet prepared to roll with the setbacks, then you are...young, my friends.


Some people are old while everyone else their age is young and vital. It has more to do with who is still going and who has given up.


However, both these perspectives assume a negative definition of old, and a positive for young... and I think that is the first mistake. Neither are intrinsically better or worse; the energy and dynamism of youth at its best can be countered with the calm and stability of age at its best. They are just stages. Ageism begins when we assign a label as per youth = good, age = bad.

Ken
07-04-2014, 01:30 AM
. . . also congeniality. Peeps with nice personalities who are kind and in good moods and spirits most always seem way younger than they are. Even just a smile can make someone who is a hundred seem like a three years' child :-)

rhymegirl
07-05-2014, 03:45 AM
I always tell my husband I'll never be old. (I refuse!)

Siri Kirpal
07-05-2014, 03:50 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I'm agreeing with Aruna that age is no bad thing.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

zarada
07-05-2014, 04:07 AM
surviving the 50 mark is a failure...?

what do i care, i's thirteen.

...wha'?


truly, i don't remember being thirteen, although it must have some intrinsic significance because when someone asks how old i am, i instinctively go to say 'thirteen' before i catch myself -- and then i have to actually count from birth-year to the present... go figure.

Hanson
07-05-2014, 04:23 AM
Cella, my dear, who called you an old tub of lard? Who? Point out the cad for immediate thrashing. It's not true. You're a young urn of buttery curves.
'buttery'

*drools*


Wait - isn't seeing food before sex a sign of getting


none?

J.S.F.
07-05-2014, 04:33 AM
"Old" goes according to culture. I know, hardly a revelation here, but bear with me.

Coming to Japan half my lifetime ago (!) I asked some students to break down what "old" meant. Almost all of them said "old" was anyone over fifty.

I gave them my breakdown version.

Young--0-29
Fairly young--30-49
Middle-aged--50-69
Elderly--70-79
Old--80--?

Granted, those numbers tend to fluctuate a bit, but them's my feels on all this. I might add that you can be a "young" 50 (i.e. healthy, aware of the world and its trends, interested in life and all that it has to offer) or an "old" fifty...ill, on meds, depressed at life and uncaring, bitter, etc...

My mother passed on at the age of eighty-five. Up until she was eighty-one (when Alzheimer's started to set in) she was vital, active, and interested to see me, my wife, and hold her grandchildren. She was chronologically old, yes, but in her mind, she was still a young lady, eager and willing to learn about the world, as much as she was interested in that part of the world. I'd like to be that way as I age...minus the mental slowdown, of course.

Ken
07-05-2014, 04:41 AM
On a somewhat related note, I recently read that in Japan female newscasters over the age of thirty are ousted in favor of younger ones. No Barbara Walters equivalents there as such if the account is correct. So like you say it differs from country to country. (Not to say the US is the ideal or that any country necessarily is.)

J.S.F.
07-05-2014, 05:10 AM
On a somewhat related note, I recently read that in Japan female newscasters over the age of thirty are ousted in favor of younger ones. No Barbara Walters equivalents there as such if the account is correct. So like you say it differs from country to country. (Not to say the US is the ideal or that any country necessarily is.)

---

I'd like to see a link for that if you can dig it up, Ken.

"Ousted" sounds a bit strong, but there's a definite ageism bias working here, no question. Most of the female broadcasters tend to be young, in their mid to late twenties. However, there are a number of women newscasters in their thirties and forties and beyond, but they handle the entertainment or cultural side of things as opposed to doing the news coverage.

There are also a number of female commentators on the political spectrum. There really should be more, but Japan has always been patriarchal in terms of the workplace.

Carrie in PA
07-05-2014, 05:13 AM
The older I get, the older old has to be in order to be old.

J.S.F.
07-05-2014, 05:21 AM
The older I get, the older old has to be in order to be old.

---

QFT!

Ken
07-05-2014, 05:27 AM
---

I'd like to see a link for that if you can dig it up, Ken.

"Ousted" sounds a bit strong, but there's a definite ageism bias working here, no question. Most of the female broadcasters tend to be young, in their mid to late twenties. However, there are a number of women newscasters in their thirties and forties and beyond, but they handle the entertainment or cultural side of things as opposed to doing the news coverage.

There are also a number of female commentators on the political spectrum. There really should be more, but Japan has always been patriarchal in terms of the workplace.

Well it wasn't exactly an article. It was just a comment posted below a Yahoo news article from about 3 weeks ago regarding Barbara Walters leaving The View. The commentator lived in Japan. According to her that's how things were with television news. Good to know things aren't that dire. There's ageism everywhere including here in the States. Hollywood is a prime example, though overall things are dramatically improving. And as far as I know if you get canned for being "too old" you can file charges. Not sure how that plays out? Thnx for the additional insight.