Describing healthy 60-somethings as 'elderly' is not OK [Letter]

May 20, 2014

Reporter Carrie Wells recently described a woman who was injured in a boat accident as "elderly" ("Woman rescued from fire on boat in Harbor East," May 17).

The woman was described as 68 years old. As a woman who is turning 70 in a few days, I took umbrage at that. I play golf several times a week, go to Zumba, weights and aerobics classes and feel far from "elderly."

I was curious to find out at exactly what age Ms. Wells considers someone to be "elderly?" Possibly a hundred or more years ago, when people did not live as long, a person in their 60s might have been considered "elderly." But I doubt you will find anyone in their 60s or even 70s who would describe themselves that way today.

At a time when people struggle so hard not to use words that could be described as "racist" or "sexist," doesn't The Sun realize that certain words might not be "age-sensitive" and might offend certain readers — especially the very type of people it is describing?

Sadly, all the reporters in my age group who used to work at The Sun have probably left.

Claire Albert, Columbia

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