Young and Old, Ageing and Age

Sunday, 22 April 2018 · Posted in

'World's oldest living person dies in ...', that's how the title should go, and not 'World's oldest person dies in ...'. If Jeanne Calment (1875–1997) lived to the age of 122, this fine Japanese lady wasn't the world's oldest person. This of course isn't very important.

Unless we dig deeper. Semantics matter:
(Either that or I'm bored, one of the two.) Old is different to Age, although all things ageing are inevitably growing older. Or are they? Is the frozen chicken (pardon the pleonasm) living inside your freezer getting any older? I am not sure. What about you? Despite ceasing to age, do you stop getting older the moment you die? Pythias stopped ageing sometime after 355 BC, but how old is she? How old is Aristotle? (Pythias' husband.)

Death puts an end to ageing, but death doesn't put an end to age. We may know who the world's living person is, but who in fact is the world's oldest person? Seeing I'm ignorant as to where and when the human species begin (for a moment I was going to make the same mistake as Reuters and write began), I haven't a clue, nor am I certain of what a 'person' is.

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