Lately, some language has been getting under my skin. I cringe when people use “cute” and “adorable” to describe older adults. So when I heard about Grandma Betty a few weeks ago, I was immediately drawn to all the “so cute!” comments. Ugh. “Does this bother you, too?!” I asked a Scripps professor in the hallway. “Not really,” he said with a shrug. Hmm. I figured he’d agree. At any rate, it bugs me as an advocate for older generations, so I decided to get on my AARP soapbox and have my say. What do you think? Cut the “cute” or keep it?
— One of my writing workshop participants this semester, taking the course with her husband. She never thought of him as the “literary type.” Suddenly, he’s crafting memoirs, letters, poems and third-person narratives full of plot twists and rich, sensory description. Suddenly, perhaps, he’s that cute, smart kid sitting next to her in class.