June 26, 2016

Soft Language

"And we have no more old people in this country. No more old people.

We shipped them all away, and we brought in these senior citizens. Isn't that a typically American twentieth century phrase? Bloodless, lifeless, no pulse in one of them. A senior citizen. But I've accepted that one, I've come to terms with it. I know it's to stay. We'll never get rid of it. That's what they're going to be called, so I'll relax on that, but the one I do resist. The one I keep resisting is when they look at an old guy and they'll say, "Look at him Dan! He's ninety years young." Imagine the fear of aging that reveals. To not even be able to use the word "old" to describe somebody. To have to use an antonym. And fear of aging is natural. It's universal. Isn't it? We all have that. No one wants to get old. No one wants to die, but we do! So we bullshit ourselves. I started bullshitting myself when I got to my forties. As soon as I got into my forties I'd look in the mirror and I'd say, "well, I...I guess I'm getting...older." Older sounds a little better than old doesn't it? Sounds like it might even last a little longer. Bullshit, I'm getting old! And it's okay, because thanks to our fear of death in this country, I won't have to die...I'll pass away. Or I'll expire like a magazine subscription. If it happens in the hospital, they'll call it a terminal episode. The insurance company will refer to it as negative patient-care outcome. And if it's the result of malpractice, they'll say it was a therapeutic misadventure. I'm telling you, some of this language makes me want to vomit. Well, maybe not vomit. Makes me want to engage in an involuntary personal protein spill."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at June 26, 2016 1:03 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Around here they say, "he passed". All my life I've wondered, passed what? So far, all I've ever passed was gas.

Posted by: BillH at June 27, 2016 8:42 AM

And it was his lefty hippy-dippy buddies and fellow travelers who foisted on us the bogus politically correct language he ridicules.

My "healthcare provider" wanted to let me know I'm fat (as if my circumference approaching my height didn't tell me that already). He said I was morbidly obese. I told him that, actually, I had still kept my sense of humor, so I was actually "cheerfully obese."

Posted by: OldFert at June 27, 2016 1:49 PM

You're not fat, you're well fed.

We old pilots don't pass away, we "Fly West." We fly to the big hangar in the sky, where the beer's always cold and people laugh at your corny jokes. (Heaven?)

Yep, we like the hard edges knocked off of reality.

Posted by: Jimmy J. at June 27, 2016 3:23 PM