Thursday, April 22, 2010




: promptness in response : cheerful readiness

When I conducted a google search for the word ALACRITY, I came up with a slew of businesses that had adopted the word as their title. The ventures ranged from consultant firms to bioscience to capital investments to equestrian services, among others.

This, to me, screams of process. I visualize an individual, or a group of individuals, brainstorming in search of the perfect name for a business. ALACRITY—zeal, enthusiasm, "cheerful readiness." When I think of ALACRITY, I think of the joy exuded when the mailman arrives at your front door with a long-awaited package. This joy is unique. It is different than the joy experienced opening birthday gifts or going on a much-anticipated date or finally getting your period after it is three weeks late. Only the mail carrier (or UPS or Fedex in other cases) is privy to my ALACRITY.

I try to imagine bottling and selling that emotion, which is what I believe these businesses are trying to achieve—as though to say, If you work with us, every moment will mimic the sound of the mail passing through the slot and hitting your foyer floor. When we all know perfectly well that this is impossible.

These businesses have robbed ALACRITY of its meaning. They have tried to make it their own, and failed. I motion that we take back ALACRITY and put it where it belongs—sitting by the window, patiently awaiting the sound of those soft black sneakers ascending our front steps.

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