Last Sunday’s commentary, “Who’re you calling old?” (Jan. 11) by Jackie Crosby of the Star Tribune, made me reach for my Clairol Hair Color … “Flaming Red,” preferably.

The piece peels back what’s happening in Minneapolis, where the organization Ecumen runs senior housing and long-term care centers. Ecumen’s CEO, Kathryn Roberts, is on a valiant mission in the Midwest to eradicate words from the corporate lexicon that may alienate or give rise to negative connotations for certain Americans: i.e., my generation. After all, people in business (and politics) can’t afford to offend customers (and voters)!

Now why in the world would certain words and phrases like “facilities,” “nursing homes” or “gray tsunami” upset me? And who really cares if Social Security and I are both celebrating our 80th birthdays this year? Because for the last hundred years, Americans have misplaced their “reality keys” of life and can’t seem to wrench themselves out of their initiatory dream world – you know, “the glad season of life,” as Carlyle put it.

Young people tower with confidence in today’s popular culture – never once thinking of an answer to Carole King’s lyrical question, “Will you still love me tomorrow?” For some of us, “tomorrow” means complicated health, home and social service care, but for me the word “senior” still means my grade 12 class of 1953, and “a rose by another name is still a rose.”

On the other hand, I’m willing to wear a lapel pin that reads “You’re looking at your future.”