Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What's in a Name? NPR story

NPR ran a story about their survey, NPR Survey Reveals Despised And Acceptable Terms For Aging. As a follow up to a story on what to call us as we age, NPR did a survey of listeners. The story includes segments of the initial story and discussed the survey results, with "more than 2,700 people responded, and the winner and still champion was older adult, though you can't say there was any real enthusiasm for it among our poll takers. Just 43 percent of them said they liked it." What about other options? We all have heard the terms elder, senior, or senior citizen used (as well as some less kindly words). The survey showed that nearly "a third of the respondents liked elder. [with] a lot of comments online from people who felt that the term was the most respectful. And about a third thought senior was fine, though if you put the word citizen after it, the favorable rating dropped to less than 12 percent."  The article goes on to discuss the less kindly words used to refer to older persons and concludes

in another poll earlier this month, the more scientific poll than ours - that poll found that nearly three quarters of baby boomers plan to continue working during their so-called retirement years, which may mean that the word retirement is also on its way out. The point is we're getting rid of a lot of these traditional terms for aging, but we haven't come up with anything to replace them that reflects what life is like now.

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