Round 3 of Longevity Word Jumbles! We spell out the word or phrase as you see it and hear it, then ask you to twist the meaning or ditch it.
This week’s word – “elderly”. A word origin from the year 1611 describes this as “somewhat old, verging towards old age.” Or in 1606 in a rare usage you could have been an “elderling”, a contemptuous word for elder.
Here we are 400 years later and we’ve blurred the edges on what “verging towards old age” must be.
Don’t you love those TV news reports where the reporter identifies a pedestrian – “hit by a car last night at the corner of Danforth and Main” as “an elderly woman 66”. The sometimes ironic part of that is, that the reporter could be identified as shall we say, “verging on 60 + something”.
And in your world, you must know an 85 year old who also might take exception to being called elderly?
Elderly. You decide. Twist it or ditch It?