I was reading some stuff or other on the Interwebs today.
I came across a bloke who described himself as 76 years young. At least I assume it was someone of the male persuasion but you never can tell in these strange times.
It has always grated on my nerves when someone is described as so many years young. It sounds so fucking patronising. To me, it actually emphasises how old someone is. It implies they have reached their dotage and they should be patted gently on the head and asked if they’d like another cup of tea and an extra blanket over their legs and isn’t it incredible that they have reached such an age.
Describing someone as “years young” and not “years old” does not make them any younger. If someone is 76 then they have been around for 76 years. It’s as simple as that. Nothing can change that period of time and the use of “young” makes no difference whatsoever except maybe to stress that they are, in fact, old.
If someone asks me how old I am, I reply I am 73. To ask how young I am just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. I grant that mentally I’m not 73 despite what my aching joints tell me. I don’t know what age I am mentally as it varies according to my situation. Sometimes I feel as if I’m in my thirties, sometimes in my forties and sometimes even in my twenties. Indeed some people probably think I’m positively infantile at times. I don’t give a shit. So to say I am old but act as if I am younger is probably correct but it still doesn’t redefine my age.
My friend on the Interwebs is actually being patronising towards himself which is quite a remarkable achievement. Maybe he does think he’s younger [I think we all do?] but to actually use the expression is delusional.
Unless he’s just a professional patroniser?