Ageist Language

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Section 7.5.2

Ageist Language

Senior citizens has become a catchall term for the country's older population, but manyfind it off-putting because of its political connotations. Similarly, the elderly impliesfeebleness to some. When referring to members of this group, try to find a label that describes morespcifically the population or person you have in mind: people over sixty-five,retirees, octogenarians. More generically, the term olderpeople, although vague, impies nothing negative. Of course,avoid disparaging terms, as well as informal ones such as old folks,seniors, and golden agers. More importantly, avoid langauge thatstereotypes older people as mentally or physically enfeebled.


Dr. Frank Martinez, a senior citizen, continues to maintain a vigorous practice despite hisage.


Dr. Frank Martinez, now seventy years old, continues to maintain a vigorouspractice.

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