Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | March 30, 2012

Define elderly

When I was a young journo, 40 was old.

Now I am approaching that very milestone  myself, I realise I am very much still a spring chicken!

As are many people I know, including a couple of awesome tennis players in their 50s and one of my netball team who has recently turned 50 as well (and whose body copes better than most of the 30-somethings lol).

When I was a young journo, “elderly” was 70 or over. Officially. But many 70 year olds are riding bikes, playing sports, tripping around the world…. not elderly at all.

One online definition says elderly is “being past middle age and approaching old age”.  (Lachlan has stolen my dictionary – one of his spelling words this week was portmanteau….)

I believe my mother, mother-in-law and several of the ladies at golf would object to being called elderly (Mum would probably chase you with a rolling pin, her golf clubs or her mountain bike!!)

What has brought this subject up? A story tonight about a crime in Pahiatua.

A tiny woman involved in the terrifying robbery of an elderly man who had showed her kindness in times of trouble has been jailed. Standing in Palmerston North District Court dock yesterday, Tina Reiri, 20, was barely visible above the glass skirting standing between her and freedom. But as she was led away to serve three years and nine months’ jail, her face was a picture of shock. The unemployed Pahiatua woman was convicted on a charge of being a party to an aggravated robbery, when a 65-year-old man’s home was invaded by Reiri, Peter Tumanako, 29, and a third man who is yet to be identified. The man was living alone after his partner died just a year before.

Besides the fact the robbery was atrocious and so unfair on the man, has he been dealt a second blow to his confidence by the media calling him elderly?

So – I was at the Silver Fern Farms Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year dinner last night… more tomorrow. It was a good night, so it’s time for an early night tonight! Phoenix soccer team is one goal up over Sydney and the Highlanders wasted the Rebels in the rugby!

FYI: portmanteau [pɔːtˈmæntəʊ]

n pl -teaus, -teaux[-təʊz]

1. (formerly) a large travelling case made of stiff leather, esp one hinged at the back so as to open out into two compartments
2. (modifier) embodying several uses or qualities the heroine is a portmanteau figure of all the virtues









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