What’s the Deal With Listing People’s Age?

Here’s an experiment for you. Go to your favorite news site. Read a story involving a celebrity. Now review it again, and take note of this odd fact about print journalism:

At some point in the story, the person’s age will be randomly thrown into a sentence. By “randomly,” I mean that the person’s age will normally have nothing to do with the subject of the story; it’s just there. Usually it looks something like this:

“John Smith was spotted today shopping at Trader Joe’s in Santa Monica. Smith, 32, reportedly frequently shops at Trader Joe’s.”

Doesn’t that strike you as a little odd? It’s always bothered me. Well, I guess it’s an overstatement to say it bothers me; it’s just a little strange. We don’t do this in any other context, only in print journalism.

So I think we should just start doing it all the time, even in normal conversation. Something like this:

Our mailman, 42, is late today.

Is the Lovely Miss Courtney, 18, home yet?

Did you walk the dog, 4?  (or as in the case of our former dog) – Did you walk the dog, 361?

As an added challenge for more advanced age-listers, you could list the ages of people who have long since died:

I was practicing a piece today written by Bach, 323.

Anyway, I’m not saying this is important by any means. It’s just a random observation by me, Charley, 48.

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This entry was posted in Blogroll, Misc. Life. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What’s the Deal With Listing People’s Age?

  1. Miss Cindy :) says:

    I think you’re making a big deal out of nothing, noted Cindy Shields, 47, er, 29.

  2. charleysblog says:

    Of course I’m making a big deal out of nothing. That’s what my blog does best!

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