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March 27, 2017

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Posted by on .

You corrected this sentence:

Don't talk about me as ancient: Don't talk about me as if I'm ancient.

Can you explain me the difference between "ancient" and "old"?
Ancient, I believe, is no longer used or does it have a negative connotation?
If you want to express this:
Don't describe me (don't refer to me) as ancient (If you don't want your students to use this adjective when referring to a person's old age?)
The adjective was used by Daniel Defoe in his Robinson Crusoe.

Thank you

  • English - ,

    The word "ancient" means REALLY old!

    If you use the word to describe someone who is living or something that has occurred or existed fairly recently (in the last half-century or so), it's usually meant in a negative way. For example, sometimes my grandchildren refer to anything that happened in my childhood in the 1940s-50s or my high school and college years as ancient, and they are not being complimentary! The mere thought of spending a childhood with no or very poor TV reception or without computers or without cell phones is unthinkable to them!!

    But if you use the word to describe anything out of Greek and Roman or Chinese or any other history or literature or art or architecture, etc., of any culture that is centuries old, the term is not negative. It's simply descriptive! It is a good way to differentiate between Roman culture today and the ancient Roman culture that Caesar and Cicero and their contemporaries lived in.

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