At Least I’m Consistent – I Still Don’t Like Elder or Elderly

I’m a day late on this. My Rearview Mirror participates in Sunday Scribbles, which means I usually get it in my RSS Monday. She chose not to do a Sunday Scribble, instead accepted a challenge from another blogger she reads.

He suggested we repost our first entries. Like most things I do, I just jumped right in when I started blogging. A colleague gives talks to groups about marketing.  He’s been blogging for two years and we were chatting and I thought it sounded like fun. So I started reading a few blogs and within a couple days, I had my first blog.

Here’s my first post:

Elderly? Go Back to Herding Sheep, You Dope.

This dope in New Zealand wrote that America was being taken over by the elderly baby boomers. He cites 70 year old Warren Beatty as ” the famous face of a social phenomenon sweeping America.”

Never mind that his Kansas beauty of a wife Annette Bening is the REAL baby boomer, having been born in 1958.

He describes the typical stuff we have all heard or read a thousand times about how boomers are changing the face of the U.S. blah, blah, blah.

But what really galls me is that he refers to our generation as the “elderly.”

You know what they call the fastest sheep in New Zealand?

Virgin wool.

Take that Mr. New Zealand reporter.

———– end of post ————-

It did surprise me that my first post was on this topic. I didn’t remember, but I’m glad I have remained consistent.

I still maintain that Boomers aren’t elderly. There has been quite an ongoing discussion of how to refer to my generation.

Boomer is OK with me. Elderly or elder is not. As Time Goes By isn’t helping. She is gotten a lot of publicity by using the term elder when it comes to people over the age of fifty blogging.

Until Time Goes By took up the word “elder”, it had been used for decades only in reference to tribal old people. It is a lovely old word in need of resurrection that conveys respect, dignity, experience, judgment and even, sometimes, wisdom. I have had some success in getting mainstream media to use elder more often.

Because she is well connected with MSM, she has been successful getting acceptance for the term. Even though she admits it’s an “old word” she is militant about it’s use, and doesn’t tolerate any other view.

Referring to people over fifty who blog as Elderbloggers is segrating us from other bloggers. That’s never good.

Blogging itself is becoming an activity for people who are thirty or older. Most younger than that have moved to myspace.com or facebook.com.

So there you have it! Another rant, prompted by my first rant.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+

Comments

At Least I’m Consistent – I Still Don’t Like Elder or Elderly — 32 Comments

  1. Mr. Sixty,

    Thank you for your kindness in visiting my blog and leaving this comment:

    “Oh no, you drank the Kool-aid Ronni Bennett is serving. We don’t need to rehabilitate elder. Let it die.
    I especially have a problem with elderblogger. We don’t need to separate ourselves from other bloggers.”

    I’m returning your visit. I must admit to not having read your entire blog, so perhaps you have not read the entirety of mine, either.

    I’m referring to the term “elder” in the context of–in terms you might relate to as an alpha-type male–“leaders of the pack”. More specifically, to the concept of elder as seen in earlier familial and tribal cultures. Respected persons known for their wisdom.

    Would you say that, as ‘older and wiser’ members of society, Boomers hold no social responsibility for passing along knowledge gained through survival to those in younger generations?

    Your response would be most welcome…

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for your thoughtful post. Yes, I understood the context. I just don’t like the term elder! I agree that we should pass along knowledge, but every generation does that. Why do we need to be called elders?

    How about citizens? parents? teachers?
    Thanks again for writing.

  3. I do like the notion of “elder” in a tribal sense. Beats the shit out of “coot” or “codger”, does it not?

    But labels tend to be limiting, I suppose. I’m always trying to avoid being lumped in with “mommy bloggers”. With limited success.

  4. It’s just too close to being called elderly.
    Here’s the Google ad next to this discussion:
    Elderly People
    Elderly Health
    Elderly Eating
    Elderly Food
    Elder Guardianship

    Gawd, that last one freaks me out!

  5. If boomers are “elders”, then what do you call our parents? I always think of “elder” as the oldest of a group. There’s plenty of other people much older than I. My FIL is almost 96. I consider him an elder and so does he, but I’m almost 40 years younger than he.

  6. Excellent point and one I haven’t seen discussed by As Time Goes By. I’m guessing she would lump us all together as elders. How about posing the question to her?

  7. OK as a retired English professor, here is my take on this.

    “Elder” is usually a noun such as he is an elder at the church, but may be used as an adjective when used as a comparative form e.g. she is my elder sister. “Elder blogger” is poor but marginally acceptable English. You wouldn’t say he is an elder lawyer, doctor, fireman.
    The term really should be “elderly” since elderly is a descriptive adjective.

    But the internet being what it is, “elder blogger” could become an idiom I suppose. But I’ll never use it.

    If one of my students used it I would ask “elder than which blogger?”

  8. Happy Dance! Thanks for weighing in! I hate to break it to you, but the Washington Post and New York Times have already embraced and used the term elderblog or elderblogger.
    English teachers lose again?

  9. I’m with you, Sixty. First person to call me ‘elder’ gets kneecapped. First person to call me ‘elderly’ gets shot.

    In my blog I title myself ‘senior’ but that is just placing myself in my rightful place in the food chain.

    I’m just a blogger, a bloke, ageless……

  10. OK, I posted the same comment @ As Time Goes By. There’s 39 years difference between my FIL and me. 39 years younger than I am is approximately age 18. We all know that 18 year olds consider everyone over 30 is old, so perhaps elderly is correct. (wink)

  11. Very nice discussion!

    English class aside, I tend to like ‘elder’ better than ‘senior’ (I was one of those in high school). But, elder, senior, whatever one wishes to be called, we are getting older. So, what’s the big deal?

    As Gretchen mentions, it’s tiring getting “lumped-in” all the time. Boomer’s is getting a bit tiresome since it’s becoming overly used.

    Again, the concept is: “Respected persons known for their wisdom”.

    I prefer ‘Elder’ to ‘Boom Leader’…

  12. Pingback: Boomer Entropy

  13. Pingback: Head Rambles » Blog Archive » Do not read if you’re easily offended

  14. @Boomer Entropy: thanks for weighing in. We do like to label groups don’t we?
    @SavvyBoomer: whos! That’s deep. Thanks.

  15. So what’s your adventure going to be? “It’s not too late to hop on your [insert whatever you think you can still straddle or perch or propel], create a blog, line up some sponsors, secure a publisher and then in the words of Nike: Just Do It.”

    Are any of your readers doing something blookworthy (toads or toadettes?) I keep wondering … do you think it should be toadesses?

  16. No adventures here. Not yet anyway. Toadesses is nice. Toadess Cheryl of Blook has a nice ring.

  17. I’ve never heard of elderberries – are they old dingleberries?

    I’m sorry that I missed this first post and found this blog a little later, as you know – I’ve had a lot of fun here since I found you!
    You should link back to Kirk at justthinkin.net or let him know you participated – he will link back.

    I had not really thought about the terminology before. Like the comments left before mine, I simply felt like the term “elder” was a progression in terms, better than “battle-ax” or “old bag”!
    Our society consistently changes terms used to refer to races, I suppose the term “elder” will eventually evolve into something else, as well.

  18. Micki – I love the dingleberry comment. Very funny.

    I’ll stop by justthinkin.net and say hello.

  19. Hmmm…

    Perhaps mature blogger is more appropriate? Of course that would not apply to one’s personality/sense of personal responsibility of course since age rarely reflects maturity now does it? However, Micki gave me some ripe old ideas from her comment for some new awards (complete with appropriate image logos) for us old(er) type bloggers. How about…

    A Genuine Battle Ax Blog?
    or perhaps
    The Old Bag Blogger Award?

    How can we, the mature bloggers (boomers, whatever) that we are, possibly be considered elderly? Elderly folks simply do not use the exclamatory terms and phrases such as cool, Alright!, kick ass, ******’-A-right! (‘scuse please) and various others we have heard and witnessed over our entire lives. Could you possibly imagine the kind of conversation heard in the community room of a (shudder) nursing home that might have a bunch of us old f**ts sitting around?

    That ain’t what I would call elderly!

    BTW, Thanks for participating and republishing your first post. I’ve long admired “Going Like Sixty” and it’s much appreciated. The first version of the list goes up today but the “friendly challenge” will be going on for awhile yet so any of you who wish to join in…as you can see, it can be a lot of fun.

    Especially if it’s a bunch of old fogies like us. 😛

    Oh…and I see you have the same “Penguin Slap” gif that I have (although mine’s in a post). It’s much better in the sidebar.

  20. When my dad was in a nursing home, and I would visit, there was some real foul language from both men and women, of course most were mentally unstable. The change may come in assisted living facilities where some guys are watching a sporting event and some bone-head play happens.

    Holy F***! Did you just see that f****er? $*&%&% ^&&^ ^&%^^@(*

  21. Pingback: The "First Posts" list (so far) | Just Thinkin'