There are at least four possibilities: an inclusive we, an exclusive we, a "royal we" and a "patronizing we." (...) In a "patronizing" form, we might function more like you and not include the speaker (as in an interaction where a doctor asks a patient "how are we feeling today?") (...)Not only is elderspeak linked to communication problems and decreasing communicative competency triggering negative self-assessments of compunicative competence. It is also associated with increased dependence, increased restiveness to care, social isolation, cognitive decline, negative behaviours, and negative social and psychological health outcomes. Older adults consider it to be disrespectful and patronising (Corwin, 2017).
Wortham & Reyes (2015:48)
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- Corwin, A. I. (2017). Overcoming Elderspeak. The Gerontologist, 58(4), 724-729.
- Wortham, S. & Reyes, A. (2015). Discourse Analysis beyond the Speech Event. London & New York: Routledge.
- photograph by Vivian Maier via