Thursday, March 27, 2014

Our Turn

For years now, every two weeks some group in this country is OFFENDED by something or other that we ordinary Americans have been doing as part of our normal lives that suddenly OFFEND them.

One of these days, we're going to snap back and tell these bullies to 'Go to Hell."

But, until then, it appears that we're just going to continue to "roll over."

But meanwhile, let's have a little fun and "take our turn" at being offended.

Read on:

A friend of mine was telling me about the night he thought he was having a heart attack...and his wife called for an ambulance.

By the time the medics arrived, the pain had stopped and he felt totally normal.

He informed the responders of this, but they insisted he be taken to the hospital anyway. They said it was a county rule.

He complained bitterly, because he felt that it was a false alarm.

Long story short, by the time he got back home, two new stents had been planted in his heart.

He probably needed them, but he'll never be convinced of that. He's still angry about it.

But according to him....the hospital added insult to injury when he read the official record of that evening's event; it stated that...."On the evening of...such and such....the ambulance brought in an ELDERLY man suffering chest pains..."

"Imagine that," he told me........(he was 78 at the time) "calling me ELDERLY!"

Yeah. I'm with him!  I don't want anyone calling me ELDERLY...although that's what I am.

I don't want anyone calling me a SENIOR CITIZEN either, unless they're going to give me a discount.

I did a little research on the subject and discovered that a lot of people are undecided about how to refer to us:

Harry Moody, 67, director of academic affairs for AARP, says 

"What’s going on is we have a problem with the subject itself. Everyone wants to live longer, but no one wants to be old.
Personally, I tend to use the term “older people” because it’s the least problematic. Everyone is older than someone else."

Jane Glen Haas, 74, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist:
Don’t call anyone “elderly.” I associate that with people with physical disabilities who need constant care.
“Senior citizens” is a term coined in the late 1930s for people who needed a place to go, senior centers, to have a good lunch. To me, it implies somewhat impoverished older people, not the way people want to think of themselves.
“Aging” — to me that sounds like I’m declining.
I guess “older people” is best. I suppose if you had to call me something, I’d prefer that it be “writer” or “an older writer.”

Judith Graham, writing for Time Magazine says,

"Now the Aging Services of California, has put together a stylebook to guide media professionals through the minefield of politically correct and politically incorrect ways of identifying and portraying the elderly.
Lesson one. “Elderly” is a word the two organizations would prefer we eliminate. In the glossary of the new stylebook, “Media Takes: On Aging,’’ the authors state their case against “elderly” as follows.
Use this word carefully and sparingly. The term is appropriate only in generic phrases that do not refer to specific individuals, such as concern for the elderly, a home for the elderly, etc. In other words, describing a person as elderly is bad form, although the generalized category “elderly” might not be offensive. (Suggested substitutions include “older adult” or simply “man’’ or “woman” with the age inserted, if relevant.)
Also to be avoided are “senior citizen” (we don’t refer to people under age 50 as “junior citizens,” the guide notes) and “golden years” (euphemisms are probably not the best way to go, we learn). “Feisty,” “spry,” “feeble,” “eccentric,” “senile” and “grandmotherly” are also unwelcome terms, patronizing and demeaning, as is calling someone “80 years young.”

The guide is ambivalent on use of the word “home” as a replacement for “skilled nursing facility.” On the one hand, it can be both anachronistic and condescending to harken back to “old folks’ homes,” which is one of the reasons Aging Services of California changed its name from the California Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. But elsewhere the guide notes (see paragraph four above) that “these facilities are indeed people’s homes,” often permanently. Thus, the people who live there should be called “residents” rather than “patients.

 She goes on to mention other words that the guide  says should be avoided are:

 “biddy,” “codger,” “coot,” “crone,” “fogy,” “fossil,” “geezer,” “hag,” “old fart,” “old goat,” “prune,” “senile old fool” and “vegetable.”

Who would have thought.