As an older person, I don't like the word "senior" - I think it has a bit of a negative feel to...
it. So to all the other "seniors" out there - what do you prefer to be called? Or do you like to be called a senior?
Of course, other terms I would rather not be called are:
- Old timer
- Senior Citizen
- Old man
- blue hair
I'd like society to label us with respect - like:
- The wiser generation
- Life experts
- Golden Agers
I'm not crazy about anything above, so if you have an idea for a positive term to call seniors, let me know.
Mr. Stephens ,
I was raised to respect the older generations of my family and society , unlike most of my generation and that of my children. I always really liked some of the native peoples terms for older members such as elder, grandfather, uncle. These terms were not only applied to family members, but to respected individuals in the community. It seems to me a little more dignified than simply saying gramps, seniors, old folks,etc. I often try to get my daughter to stop referring to older generations as "old people". I just have not been able to get her to "get it"!
I say call it like it is. The problem society has today is that too many people are offended by too many things, and because personalities all differ, it's very difficult to discern what may NOT be offensive to one and BE offensive to another.
Obvious derogatory terms notwithstanding such as you mentioned. Geezer, for example, is an obvious one. Old man not so obvious. If you are on in the years you are old. Even if old could potentially mean used up or out of useful commission. Old could also mean built better, more solid, or more ornate. An old house has character, for example. Nowadays it's just two-by-fours, cheap walls, and a roof.
Some blacks like to be called black. Others like to be called African-American. I've run into blacks who hated to be called African-American and blacks who hated to be called black.
When we buy too much into this sort of thing it just makes life more difficult, makes people look more fragile, and helps to create circumstances of avoidance. If I don't know what to call you I just won't talk to you...
Perhaps it's why people don't even bother to say hello on the streets anymore. SOMEONE might be offended you've said hello.
This is not the kind of world I want to live in. I don't think it's the kind of world you grew up in. And it's this kind of thinking that is quite literally ripping apart the fabric of our communities all over the country.
Springboard said it all. If you don't like a particular term it's due to your personal association with it. I'd love to be called senior, because for me it means I'm not junior anymore. it's just names...("sticks and stones may break my bones...").
As a certified geezer, my opinion is "so what"? Your suggested terms of "The wiser generation" and "Life experts" are not applicable. Observe carefully the "old folks" you come across. Obviously, age does not bring wisdom to most. And "Golden Agers" is just stupid, as would be other ones I've seen, such as "Seasoned Citizens" and "Silver Foxes".
BTW: About that Brokaw book about "The Greatest Generation" (whatever) -- "Gag me with a spoon" (1980s obsolete expressions). That is the generation that voted in Roosevelt four times and permitted by their voting in the 1930s - 1950s (for both Republicans and Democrats) the dismantling of the U.S. economy.
Oh, here's another one for you: "Old fart".
BTW2: If someone calls you "grandpa", just say "Oh, are you my granddaughter/grandson? Was your grandmother one that I "effed" in that Tijuana whorehouse while on shore leave in San Diego?"
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