English Vocabulary

the term "senile" in a business conversation

Hello everybody

In my most recent GG lesson I encountered a sentence used in an advertising brochure for bank saving accounts:

“The returns on your money are spectacular and guarantee you'll be able to live the lifestyle you've
become accustomed to, even when you're senile.”

I'm confused because the word "senile" is used in this context. Can "senile" really be used in such a situation, for example when a bank officer counsels a customer - or isn't it kind of rude?

If I imagine a bank officer told me "You'll have a decent return on your investment when you are senile" I would feel slightly offended, unless it is meant in a kidding way which obliterates the seriousness. Isn't "senile" more a medical or archaic term which becomes disparaging or disturbing when used in a business conversation?



  • To my mind, Tobi DoubleYou, it depends on the sort of customer the catchword-sentence is targetting. Be they young people doing well in life, they might feel slightly offended as you were. Be they middle-aged people, a little bit more aware of what they are doomed to, warning them they could keep living their present lifestyle when senile on the condition they hand over their money to that bank could be an effective ad.

    I think senile is not as insulting as 'doting'.
  • Foremost, thanks for your response, G-Double-E.

    I'm middle-aged myself and on the verge of investing a substantial
    amount of money and slightly insulted though. I guess my bank won't have much success with me with their ad.
  • ***old
    **very old, very aged
    *senile has a touch of confused or strange behaviour, even if the roots of this word (senex?) didn't mean that. If you are senile you're supposed of being unable to remember things as to say your bank address, your bank sorting code, your account number, your amount of bank balance, the way you get your ministatements in case they aren't sent by mail, your way home.
    So this ad may encourage you to believe in the generosity of your bank. They certainly will make a special educated dog avaiable to get you home with your monthley division of profits.
  • Hi St. John,
    what a nice interpretation of a bank's witty slip! In times when business confidence is dwindling and mental desease is obviously rising (above all dementia) (it is no longer a secret and nobody should be ashamed of it), your bank can do no better than to guarantee your income even in that worst case!

    Perhaps, TobiW, you should insist to get more detailed information about all the measures planned for that case by your bank. It would be interesting for me too. After these additional informations we could discuss the subject again.
    To me it means an unleashing when unavoidable things are openly voiced.

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