Please Stop Using These Common Ageist Phrases

1 year ago 268

Image for nonfiction  titled Please Stop Using These Common Ageist Phrases

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Ageism is the “last acceptable bias,” astatine slightest according to the AARP. While age-based prejudice is much often directed astatine older workers, it does spell some ways: “Both older and younger adults are often disadvantaged successful the workplace and entree to specialized grooming and acquisition diminution importantly with age,” says the World Health Organization. In the workplace specifically, a 2019 study showed that 1 retired of each 5 American workers property 40 and older said they’ve faced property discrimination.

But ageism isn’t ever evident discrimination. Sometimes it’s a tiny remark that subtly perpetuates the thought that “old” is codification for “bad.” Take Kevin Hart’s now meme-ified reaction to Don Cheadle’s age. Even the astir well-intentioned comments tin crook retired to beryllium ageist microaggressions. Below are communal phrases that often bash much harm than bully erstwhile it comes to addressing someone’s age.

“You don’t look [insert property here]!”

Honorable mention: 50 is the caller 25! Even though you astir apt intended this arsenic a compliment, successful astir cases the accusation present is that immoderate property they really are is “bad” for immoderate reason. In this instance, you mightiness privation to reconsider whether you adjacent request to remark connected the person’s property astatine all.

“They’re young astatine heart.”

From the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities:

While astir apt intended to convey a affirmative connotation oregon framed arsenic a compliment to another, these statements ringing undertones of ‘young is good,’ ‘older is bad.’ We situation you to deliberation done what it is you truly mean. Are you referencing a precocious level of energy? Agility? Sense of wit oregon playfulness? ...Say those words alternatively of generalizing perceived characteristics of immoderate generation.

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In different words, effort to place the compliment you mean by “young.” This way, you debar the accusation that being “old” is antithetical to who they are.


Unless you’re talking astir throwing spices connected a chicken, “seasoned” comes crossed arsenic a gentle mode of dismissing idiosyncratic arsenic “old.” Like with the “young astatine heart” proposal about, effort to articulate what you truly mean–whether that meaning is positive, e.g. “experienced,” oregon negative, e.g. “out-of-touch.”

“OK, boomer.”

I’ll admit it. My biggest contented with this operation is that it’s hack drama astatine this point. On a much superior level, “OK boomer” has the aforesaid occupation arsenic characterizing each millennials arsenic “entitled.” It’s lazy and unfair to disregard idiosyncratic based solely connected generational stereotypes.

“You can’t thatch an aged canine caller tricks.”

This 1 isn’t adjacent existent successful the canine world. You mightiness accidental this 1 casually, without truly meaning thing by it. However, the sentiment present tin origin real economical harm erstwhile older radical are fundamentally seen arsenic unteachable and frankincense unhirable.

“Can I assistance you, young lady?”

Why are you calling my grandma a young lady? This is weird and assumes that young is simply a compliment, portion world indispensable beryllium an insult. Hey, possibly you don’t request to notation her property astatine all.

“Young man,” “Girl,” “Kiddo”

Unless idiosyncratic is virtually a child, delight refrain from these patronizing (and creepy!) terms.

“You astir apt won’t privation to usage this caller platform…” / If you person occupation learning the technology...”

Even if you’re trying to beryllium accommodating for older coworkers oregon household members, it’s condescending to presume that they’ll cull caller technologies. In the workplace, this could adjacent them disconnected from opportunities disposable to the remainder of your team. If idiosyncratic is resistant to a caller platform, code it connected an idiosyncratic basis, alternatively than letting it go portion of an age-based stereotype.

As a regularisation of thumb, deliberation astir whether your comments reenforce the thought that property is the end-all-be-all for however idiosyncratic thinks, acts, and offers value. When successful doubt, you astir apt don’t request to code someone’s property astatine all.