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    #1

    help the elder with eating

    One of my student wrote:
    One of hotel staff helped the elder with eating.
    Actually he meant that the elder has problem with eating and drinking because of old age. But the sentence seems improper. I correct the former part like this:
    The hotel staff helped to care for the elderly and infirm to eat and drink.
    Is it OK> Do you have any other advice?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: help the elder with eating

    Quote Originally Posted by ziawj2 View Post
    One of my student wrote:
    One of hotel staff helped the elder with eating.
    Actually he meant that the elder has problem with eating and drinking because of old age. But the sentence seems improper. I correct the former part like this:
    The hotel staff helped to care for the elderly and infirm to eat and drink.
    Is it OK> Do you have any other advice?
    You're right that "the elderly" is the correct noun to describe old people.

    "One of the hotel staff helped the elderly to eat" would be a better sentence and wouldn't lose the general idea of your student's sentence.

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    #3

    Re: help the elder with eating

    Quote Originally Posted by ziawj2 View Post
    One of my student wrote:
    One of hotel staff helped the elder with eating.
    Actually he meant that the elder has problem with eating and drinking because of old age. But the sentence seems improper. I correct the former part like this:
    The hotel staff helped to care for the elderly and infirm to eat and drink.
    Is it OK> Do you have any other advice?

    ONLY A NON-TEACHER'S OPINION


    (1) I take your question very seriously, for I am an old man.

    (2) I think that you were right to correct his sentence.

    (3) Be careful with the word "elder." Sometimes it does not necessarily refer to

    "old people." For example, your "elder brother" could actually be 25 years old.

    Then we talk about the church elders (leaders).

    (4) In many countries, people say "Respect your elders." That is, anyone who is older than you. She or he does not have to be ancient.

    (5) If you are talking of the whole staff, you might say:

    The hotel staff helped the elderly and the infirm to eat. (There is no need to add "drink." We assume that eating includes drinking some beverage. In fact, if you said:
    "The staff helped the elderly to drink," that could = you helped them to drink alcoholic beverages!) If you wish to refer to one of the staff, you might say "A staff member helped ...."

    (6) Of course, we elderly people do not love being referred to as "elderly." Here in the United States, we use terms like "senior citizens," "seniors," "mature people," "older people," etc.

    (a) So if you were writing this for a hotel advertisement, it might be a good idea not to use the word "elderly." It might offend your customers. Maybe something like:

    Our hotel staff will be delighted to help older and infirm diners who may require assistance with their meals.

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: help the elder with eating

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ONLY A NON-TEACHER'S OPINION


    (1) I take your question very seriously, for I am an old man.

    (2) I think that you were right to correct his sentence.

    (3) Be careful with the word "elder." Sometimes it does not necessarily refer to

    "old people." For example, your "elder brother" could actually be 25 years old.

    Then we talk about the church elders (leaders).

    (4) In many countries, people say "Respect your elders." That is, anyone who is older than you. She or he does not have to be ancient.

    (5) If you are talking of the whole staff, you might say:

    The hotel staff helped the elderly and the infirm to eat. (There is no need to add "drink." We assume that eating includes drinking some beverage. In fact, if you said:
    "The staff helped the elderly to drink," that could = you helped them to drink alcoholic beverages!) If you wish to refer to one of the staff, you might say "A staff member helped ...."

    (6) Of course, we elderly people do not love being referred to as "elderly." Here in the United States, we use terms like "senior citizens," "seniors," "mature people," "older people," etc.

    (a) So if you were writing this for a hotel advertisement, it might be a good idea not to use the word "elderly." It might offend your customers. Maybe something like:

    Our hotel staff will be delighted to help older and infirm diners who may require assistance with their meals.
    I also take this question seriously, as in recent years I've had to assist senior parents and in-laws with day-to-day care such as eating and bathing. I agree with everything The Parser says except for his last statement. Even when my 85-year-old Dad had only 15% heart function and was severely limited in his daily activities, he still didn't think of himself as "infirm." We (his wife and children) knew he was infirm but in his mind this was a temporary setback and he'd get better very soon. In addition to the elderly, there might be patrons who are young but suffer from some disability that requires personal attention. Therefore, I'd suggest leaving age and infirmity out of the equation entirely, and just stating "Our hotel staff will be delighted to help those patrons who require any extra assistance with their meals."

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    #5

    Re: help the elder with eating

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ONLY A NON-TEACHER'S OPINION


    (1) I take your question very seriously, for I am an old man.

    (2) I think that you were right to correct his sentence.

    (3) Be careful with the word "elder." Sometimes it does not necessarily refer to

    "old people." For example, your "elder brother" could actually be 25 years old.

    Then we talk about the church elders (leaders).

    (4) In many countries, people say "Respect your elders." (In our culture, Confucius said it in The Analects many thousands years ago ) That is, anyone who is older than you. She or he does not have to be ancient.

    (5) If you are talking of the whole staff, you might say:

    The hotel staff helped the elderly and the infirm to eat. (There is no need to add "drink." We assume that eating includes drinking some beverage. In fact, if you said:
    "The staff helped the elderly to drink," that could = you helped them to drink alcoholic beverages!) If you wish to refer to one of the staff, you might say "A staff member helped ...."

    (6) Of course, we elderly people do not love being referred to as "elderly." Here in the United States, we use terms like "senior citizens," "seniors," "mature people," "older people," etc.

    (a) So if you were writing this for a hotel advertisement, it might be a good idea not to use the word "elderly." It might offend your customers. Maybe something like:

    Our hotel staff will be delighted to help older and infirm diners who may require assistance with their meals.
    Thanks for your reply!

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    #6

    Re: help the elder with eating

    Quote Originally Posted by ziawj2 View Post
    Thanks for your reply!

    I thank you. And I am so happy to know that people in your country are again

    studying (and following) some of the ideas of Confucius. This is a language helpline,

    so I am not permitted to discuss his ideas. I guess that I am permitted to say that

    this would be a better world today if more people observed his advice regarding good

    manners and maintaining the highest standards of personal integrity.

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