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[ 2011-03-23 15:04]     字号 [] [] []  
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Reader's question:  

The 40-sometimes found themselves in an embarrassing situation as a consequences of rapid changes in all aspects of society.

Could you explain "40-sometimes"?

My comments:

40-somethings, not 40-sometimes.

40-somethings refer to people who are more than 40 years of age, i.e. 41, 42 all the way to 49.

This expression is usually used together with similar expressions describing other age groups. For example, people who are between 30 and 40 are described as 30-somethings whereas by the same token people between 20 and 30 are 20-somethings.

Among embarrassing situations facing a 40-something are, for instance, dwindling promotion prospects, divorce, hair loss, flagging libido and diminishing self-confidence.

All of which suggest that they did not take good care of themselves while they were in their 20s and 30s. In other words it is entirely their own fault and have got only themselves to blame – today's 20-somethings can be forgiven for not taking pity of any of them.

Today's 20-somethings can at the same learn a lesson - and keep plodding in an all-round healthy way so that when you are 40 one day, you can proudly declare:

Life begins at 40.

Or re-begins, if you prefer. It is a new beginning at any rate, as every day is – if you're able to see the newness that's in there.

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the sky is the limit

hit it off

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length and breadth of

get up to speed on something

Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.