Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Falling Over versus Having a Fall

In her article written for The Guardian, Zoe Williams describes the different terminology used for identical incidents, differences that are based on age (and ageism) alone and what impact language has on her stepmother's feelings.

"It’s the terminology that’s getting her down. When a young person falls over, they “fell over”, or more commonly “FOWT” (fell over while texting). Over 70 and you’ve “had a fall”. The nurses audibly describe patients as “breakfasted” when they have had breakfast, she says. It sounds quite cute, though, doesn’t it? A bit bucolic, as if they are little lambs. Nope, apparently this is not cute. She used to hate the word “sprightly”, but now it’s been so rudely, suddenly excised from her CV that she has changed her mind. Someone in her notes calls her “quite alert for her age”. I find this difficult to believe – call her “quite alert” if you like, doc, but I’d love to see you try to give her the wrong change."
Zoe Williams

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photograph by Jane Brown via


  1. Interesting share! Thanks!

    1. I'm so glad The Guardian is The Guardian.
      Thanks, Kenneth!