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aged

Aged can be pronounced either as ay-ged, with the accent on the second syllable or as aged, with the accent very much on the first syllable. Hmm. Aged can be pronounced as aged. I’m sure that’s not the stupidest thing I’ve ever said, but it’s getting close. One day I’m going to have to learn that mystical phonetic spelling that dictionaries use.

Sorry about that, but you probably know what I mean.

Aged can have a number of meanings. For one, it is the past tense of the verb age. In this case it is pronounced with the accent on the first syllable. An example of the use of the verb aged would be, “She aged rapidly after the death of her pet bunny rabbit three years ago. Thankfully, she has finally gotten over the enormous grief caused by her loss. It’s regrettable that it took her own death to arrest her rapid aging.” Wow, that must have been some rabbit!

Aged can also be used as an adjective. Aged cheddar and aged scotch are examples of this. (Note: “Aged scotch” refers to the alcoholic beverage scotch whiskey that has been allowed to sit in its cask for a few years, not to elderly Scottish people.) Again, in this case, aged is pronounced with the accent on the first syllable.

When aged is pronounced ay-ged, with the accent on the second syllable, it is generally a noun that refers to quite elderly people. For example, homes for the aged are places where people go when they are to old to entirely take care of themselves or they don’t want the bother of entirely taking care of themselves.

I’m sure there are a number very good homes for the aged and even a few outstanding ones. Nevertheless, because of some horror stories in the media about atrocious homes for the aged that treat their residents worse than they would treat vermin, I’ve become very concerned about global warming.

I know the global warming fear statement sounds like a non sequitur here, but hear me out.

I’m hoping that when my time comes there will still be some ice flows in the Arctic that my loved ones can take me to and place me on. I know it’s terribly presumptuous of me to think that I will not only have loved ones, but will have people who love me enough to take me up to the Arctic, find an ice flow and put me on it, but I have my dreams. Global warming has the potential to shatter that dream.

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