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

SearchNetworking
SearchSecurity
  • man in the browser (MitB)

    Man in the browser (MitB) is a security attack where the perpetrator installs a Trojan horse on the victim's computer that is ...

  • Patch Tuesday

    Patch Tuesday is the unofficial name of Microsoft's monthly scheduled release of security fixes for the Windows operating system ...

  • parameter tampering

    Parameter tampering is a type of web-based cyber attack in which certain parameters in a URL are changed without a user's ...

SearchCIO
  • chief procurement officer (CPO)

    The chief procurement officer, or CPO, leads an organization's procurement department and oversees the acquisitions of goods and ...

  • Lean Six Sigma

    Lean Six Sigma is a data-driven approach to improving efficiency, customer satisfaction and profits.

  • change management

    Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's goals, processes...

SearchHRSoftware
SearchCustomerExperience
  • clickstream data (clickstream analytics)

    Clickstream data and clickstream analytics are the processes involved in collecting, analyzing and reporting aggregate data about...

  • neuromarketing

    Neuromarketing is the study of how people's brains respond to advertising and other brand-related messages by scientifically ...

  • contextual marketing

    Contextual marketing is an online marketing strategy model in which people are served with targeted advertising based on their ...

Close