No offense! How to call people in age?

And rightly so. It is not her fault that the Russian language has disappeared politically correct words used to describe older people.

The cult of youth

Scholar Svetlana Fayn conducted a small survey among his friends pensioners: how they would like to be called? Was all. “Elderly” is reminiscent of “obsolete”, “elderly person” is too formal, “grandma” refers to the degree of kinship, “the old man” smacks of familiarity… in Return they offered different wording: Mature, gray-haired, Golden age, and even a curious “men retro”. But consensus, no one came.

How to write “You” capitalized or lowercase? How?

The language, like a drop of water, reflects the state of our society and its cultural foundations — says Svetlana Fayn. — Lack of titles for the older generation in the language rules says that he has no place in the society. Words for aging, tightened like cobwebs, negative stereotypes. They are connected with weakness, weakness, decrepitude, disease, dependence on others.

This lexical dark near as the fence, hiding our very deepest fears. The paradox is that we all want to live longer themselves and are afraid of old age, in the best case, cut off from her indifference. But to be old is the only way to live long! Often, officials from social services expressing a desire to banish older people in one institution — the main thing is not to have an eyesore the rest of the citizens and not compete with them in the labour market. The cult of youth, imposed by the consumer society, has played with us a cruel joke. The need to identify the old age it is hard trying its negation.

Negative meaning

In any developed country each person is perceived as a separate independent identity. So, getting older, he enjoys the honor and respect and is not shy age. All of us, traveling in Europe, notice the dignity with which they behave older people: they go to concerts and theatres, travel, restaurants and even night clubs. We are defenseless. Many even t come out. Why old age and her language is so hopeless it is in Russia?

“Riding” a bike and pass the exam. As the pensioners break stereotypes about old age

According to science fiction writer and critic Maria Galina, old people were “living books” that drives the experience for the younger generation, taught him crafts, folk culture. Now the situation has changed and the young teach the elderly to use the Internet. The rift between generations has turned into a dramatic rift.

In archaic societies the elderly can find themselves as the head family of the clan, but in the cities the role of the family is not so big. Today people do while working and in retirement, becomes ballast. That is why it is hurting the psyche of the terms commonly used in the social services, such as “age of survival” or “old age pension”…

The figures are delicately

The negative meaning of the words impossible to erase with an eraser. You need to “pour into the old bottles the new wine”, that is, to rehabilitate the old idea, to fill them with new content. In fact, other than sickness and loneliness, old age has its own values: spiritual depth, art to communicate and appreciate the communication, the desire to give and care for those who are ill, the memory of the past, the ability to combine family. All this should become the new content of the word “old age” and its derivatives. This topic was discussed at the IV National conference “Society for all ages” held recently in Moscow.

On the question of how to call the older generation not to be sorry, many conference participants came to a common opinion — the numbers are sometimes more neutral and delicate words. Therefore, in recent years, the media is becoming popular politically correct phrase 50+, 60+, etc. However, the question of the appeal to older people is still open.

The first reader

Catherine Malkowska, actress:

— I have another problem — all strangers, even those younger than me, I call “you”. Some resent it, especially artists. And I have to explain what it tolkoiz respect. I turn on “you”, only when asked.

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