Translate this page

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Meaning of Age

        I have posted this information because when I check visits to my blog, the postings most frequently read are about the topic Ageism.  The next two paragraphs are direct quotations from a book by Erdman Palmore.
         “Perhaps, the most popular conception of old age was provided by Shakespeare in As You Like It: ‘Sans teeth, sans eyes’ sans taste, sans everything.’  This is one of the most negative conceptions of popular culture, and yet it is often accepted as defining the last stage of life.  It is understandable why people would deny that they belong to such a miserable group.”
         “The basic problem here is the confusion between ‘old’ in the sense of chronological age and ‘old’ in the sense of worn out, useless, outmoded, obsolete, or discarded (Webster’s Dictionary 1984).  Logically, chronologically ‘old’ need not have these negative connotations.  But in popular usage ‘old’ is used to refer to both the chronologically aged and to people who are worn out, useless, or debilitated.  This is meant by the phrase ‘feeling old’.  To ‘look old’ usually means to look ugly and /or decrepit.  To say ‘You don’t look that old is a compliment meaning ‘You don’t look as senile and decrepit as most people your age look.’ ‘To age rapidly’ means to deteriorate rapidly”. This way of thinking also accounts for the phrase “I don’t feel that old”
Palmore, E. (1990)   Ageism: Negative and Positive.  Springer Publishing Company New York  (Quotes from page 41.)

No comments:

Post a Comment