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Ageist 'compliments'

(92 Posts)
Spidergran5 Mon 08-Feb-16 13:55:26

I came across this on Facebook:

The ones that annoy me the most are when waiters/sales assistants call me 'young lady' and when people say "She's 75 years young"!!

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 08-Feb-16 14:06:39

I hate the "young lady" thing. With a vengeance!

We must get some suitable put downs replies to this kind of thing.

janeainsworth Mon 08-Feb-16 14:07:27

I don't really identify with any of that.
I think the article shows a) sense of humour failure b)another attempt to police our language, now political correctness has run its course and c) the modern tendency to take offence at the slightest thing, and make a virtue out of it.

It is not only older people who are spoken to in deprecating ways - people of other age groups are too, and everyone deserves respect, not just older people.

meelie Mon 08-Feb-16 14:07:29

I also hate the '75 years young' thing. It's so bloody patronising. 75 years is not young. It's not really old. It's just what it is

tribecca Mon 08-Feb-16 14:09:31

So many things in there that annoy me too. I get "you're 60 but you still go to the gym? That's amazing"

Amazing? Really? Pretty much everyone in the class is over 55 and they are all fit and active.

janeainsworth Mon 08-Feb-16 14:11:11

We used to have a very good butchers' shop in the village, before Waitrose came.

One of the butchers, Ken, used to address all men over the age of about 70 with the words 'Hello young man.'

No-one took offence and I think its a quite common term of endearment in the north-east.

tribecca Mon 08-Feb-16 14:18:44

I can see that janeainsworth - and when it's coming from someone of that age it makes it better somehow. But the rest - it's like when people talk loudly because they assume you are deaf or somehow have lost your faculties simply because you have grey hair (and I have seen this on a daily basis) and that's wrong and irritating at the same time.

But I think the point the article is making is that many people think it's fine to patronise you or treat you as some sort of pet thing just because you have reached a certain age. It happens all the time. It's not right. But it's not to say that younger people don't get patronised too or that that isn't wrong either

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 08-Feb-16 14:21:35

But, you wouldn't really expect a man to mind about that, would you? I'm sure my DH wouldn't. But I would.

ninathenana Mon 08-Feb-16 14:40:57

I don't mind a man my age or older calling me 'young lady' in fact it happened last week. It made me smile
Otherwise, no thankyou!

obieone Mon 08-Feb-16 16:12:44

I have never had any trouble telling people to keep away on this issue. Your needs far exceed theirs.
As does anyone elses' with this sort of problem.

obieone Mon 08-Feb-16 16:13:25

Wrong thread! blush

thatbags Mon 08-Feb-16 16:18:31

If a person's manner is properly pleasant (I mean, if they are not obviously being nasty), I don't give a damn what people call me.

I do think our culture is youth obsessed though. That can be irritating but that's a general thing and it doesn't bother me on a personal level.

M0nica Mon 08-Feb-16 16:23:24

The one I hate is the patronising 'ah bless' when you say anything positive about the life of an an older person.

Just after my DF's 90th birthday I commented to a friend that he wanted to give up one of his (many) committee memberships but couldn't find anyone prepared to take on the work. My friend's comment was an 'Ah bless' said in that patronising tone kept specially for old people, small children and dogs. It seemed so inappropriate and patronising applied to someone, regardless of age, who was sound in mind and body and playing an active part in their community.

ninathenana Mon 08-Feb-16 16:27:40

MOnica I'm with you on that one.
My friend would ask how my mum was (she had dementia) when I relayed mum's antics to her that would be her response angry

varian Mon 08-Feb-16 17:10:42

Describing someone (admittedly it's usually an old man) as "sprightly" - YUK

janeainsworth Mon 08-Feb-16 17:16:17

'Sprightly' is defined in my Concise Oxford Dictionary as 'vivacious, lively, gay' with no reference to age, so why anyone should be upset about being so described is beyond me.

I wonder if taking offence where none is intended and getting upset about such things is a contributory factor in hypertension?

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 08-Feb-16 17:22:14

Yeah. Cos we're doing it all the time aren't we? hmm

Penstemmon Mon 08-Feb-16 17:28:01

Like thatbags it really depends on context and intention. I think there are people who think anyone over 50 are elderly!!

I have taken phrases like ' 75 years young' to mean may be 75 and you have kept a lively mind and are open to modern thinking and ideas and not always moaning because I have said 75 yrs young ' grin

varian Mon 08-Feb-16 17:44:49

Your dictionary definition may be true, janeainsworth, but when did you ever hear a young person or even Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger described as "sprightly"? - it's patronising.

Fortunately I don't suffer from hypertension. You can notice patronising comments and even comment on them without getting annoyed and raising your blood pressure - life's too short.

Ana Mon 08-Feb-16 17:48:50

I must admit I've never heard 'sprightly' applied to anyone young. It seems to be almost always 'she/he's a fit and sprightly 80 year old' or similar...

You wouldn't say your grandchildren were 'sprightly', would you?

TerriBull Mon 08-Feb-16 17:59:37

My husband and I did chortle a while back when he was addressed as "babe" by a waitress in a coffee shop, the waitress being a similar age to his eldest granddaughter.grin My husband is very easy going and didn't care, but somehow a young girl addressing an older male customer in such a familiar way is all wrong shock

Penstemmon Mon 08-Feb-16 18:02:11

Why is it patronising? If a person is able to maintain flexibility in movement and stamina/energy at a stage of life when that is not the norm why is a comment 'patronising'?

If someone comments on how well your DGC speaks because they have a vocab that is more mature than usual for a 3 year old do you think they are being patronised or complimented?

It is patronising to assume older people are slow/ lacking in ability to understand/ hear etc. but if actually you do need someone to speak clearly and loudly because you are deaf/ hard of hearing it is not!

janeainsworth Mon 08-Feb-16 18:21:53

I don't think it's patronising, varian, to me, or a younger person, or anyone.
It's no different from someone observing that a person is energetic, or lethargic, or calm. They are only adjectives.
If someone feels patronised because someone has described them as sprightly, it's not because of the word itself but the way they have chosen to interpret it.

thatbags Mon 08-Feb-16 18:27:12

Anyone over fifty is elderly compared to anyone under fifty. Why do so many people think 'elderly' is insulting or patronising (is there a difference between those two?). I definitely feel elderly compared to how I used to feel twenty, thirty, forty years ago.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 08-Feb-16 18:28:40

A sprightly old feller.