Minding our language on ageing


Sir, – Gareth Clifford ( June 23rd) writes that “the word elderly labels older people as being infirm, frail and dependent. It is most definitely a judgment and labels an entire cohort of people, based on age”.

I use the word elderly regularly. I use it in the same context as it is described in the dictionary, meaning old or ageing.

I make no judgment on the person whom I am describing when I use the word. My parents are elderly and live a full life. Hopefully I will be elderly before I die.

If some people ascribe a negative connotation to the word elderly then we should educate them as to the true meaning of the word, rather than allow the politically correct “word police” to ban use of the word altogether. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.