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Language about Aging - Proverbial Language

age proverbs positive age negative

Many dictionaries define proverbs as brief, fixed popular sayings that state a commonly held belief. A study of seventy-two Italian proverbs about aging and older people (Nuessel 2000a, p.312) found that thirty-nine were positive, thirty were negative, and three were ambiguous in their interpretation. In their thematically arranged dictionary of American proverbs, Mieder, Kingsbury and Harder (1992, pp. 12– 13, 437–438) include ninety-eight proverbs and variants under the rubrics age, aged, and old. Of these, seventy-five depict old age in a negative fashion, while twenty-three offer a positive view. Proverbs such as "nature abhors the old" and "there is no fool like an old fool" reflect the negative perspective in proverbial language, while "with age comes wisdom" and "old foxes are not easily caught" express the positive viewpoint.

Language about Aging - Names And Forms Of Address [next] [back] Language about Aging - Metaphoric Language

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