Browse Definitions :

Graciously accept or graciously decline? You may do either — but can you say you’re doing so?

Writing for Business

Which is correct?
I have only, so far, committed to two holiday parties on that evening, so I _________ accept your invitation.
a. graciously
b. gratefully


Answer: b.

Explanation:
Graciously means “in a kind and polite manner.” It’s ridiculous to state that you’re accepting or declining something kindly and politely.

It’s not that you can’t do things graciously. By all means, whether you’re accepting or declining, do it graciously. You can graciously accept an apology, for example, by not repeating a list of grievances as you do so. You can graciously decline an invitation by saying that you wished you could attend but have a prior engagement — rather than saying, for example, that you want to wait and see if something more enticing is happening that weekend.

Google poll:
I graciously accept: 298,000 hits

I’d expected that many of those would be expressions of annoyance at people saying they “graciously accept” this or that. Or looking for advice on how to graciously accept this or that. But no. It’s mostly people announcing that they are “graciously accepting” this or that. Stop it. Just stop it. I’d be ever so grateful.

Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

Dig Deeper on Writing for Business

Networking
  • firewall as a service (FWaaS)

    Firewall as a service (FWaaS), also known as a cloud firewall, is a service that provides cloud-based network traffic analysis ...

  • private 5G

    Private 5G is a wireless network technology that delivers 5G cellular connectivity for private network use cases.

  • NFVi (network functions virtualization infrastructure)

    NFVi (network functions virtualization infrastructure) encompasses all of the networking hardware and software needed to support ...

Security
  • computer forensics (cyber forensics)

    Computer forensics is the application of investigation and analysis techniques to gather and preserve evidence from a particular ...

  • cybersecurity

    Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyberthreats.

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

    The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a symmetric block cipher chosen by the U.S. government to protect classified ...

CIO
HRSoftware
  • OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)

    OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) encourage companies to set, communicate and monitor organizational goals and results in an ...

  • cognitive diversity

    Cognitive diversity is the inclusion of people who have different styles of problem-solving and can offer unique perspectives ...

  • reference checking software

    Reference checking software is programming that automates the process of contacting and questioning the references of job ...

Customer Experience
  • martech (marketing technology)

    Martech (marketing technology) refers to the integration of software tools, platforms, and applications designed to streamline ...

  • transactional marketing

    Transactional marketing is a business strategy that focuses on single, point-of-sale transactions.

  • customer profiling

    Customer profiling is the detailed and systematic process of constructing a clear portrait of a company's ideal customer by ...

Close