Age is not just a number

It’s not uncommon for people to say “age is just a number.” But there are at least two different meanings for the phrase.

It is quite conceivable that a middle-aged person could say the phrase “age is just a number” and either be a hero because they just ran a marathon, or be a sex offender because they’re hitting on a teenager after school.

And in both cases, the phrase is right. And wrong. Age is just a number, in the sense that any measured quantity is just that — a measurement. The classic grade school math scenario, “John has 4 apples…,” is just about applying an arbitrary number system to a random, human situation.


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