Gracious professionalism

It is super cringe to say, “We gracefully accept your invitation.” You don’t get to decide for yourself that you are graceful, its for other people to decide that your invitation was pleasing or attractive in line, proportion, or movement. You don’t get to self specify that your invitation or rejection is graceful, it’s other people who get to decide if what you said was elegant.

FIRST promotes gracious professionalism but it means half the teams use the word gracefully wrong.


Odd venting post but I support


Yes, you gratefully accept.


I thought it was supposed be graciously accept


A complaint as old as time… At one point there was even a contest for most original acceptance without using “that word”.

As near as anybody can tell, the first team to use this (back in about 1999 or so) was trying to say “gratefully” and misspoke.


“accepts your gracious offer” works as well


I’ll second that gratefully is probably the word people should mostly be using, but I want to point out that the word I usually hear is graciously, meaning “in a courteous, kind, and pleasant manner”, not gracefully. It makes some sense, especially with the emphasis on gracious professionalism, but not nearly as much as gratefully.

Tbh I don’t really care what people use, although it’d be nice if people made sure they used the one they meant, as opposed to what everybody just does.


Say it with me everyone.

We gratefully accept.
And we respectfully decline.


I don’t like the “gratefully accepts” option because I think it creates a weird dynamic and tone between the teams. It’s like, the team being picked has to be appreciative to the captain for doing them a favor and carrying them to victory.

I do think it’s appropriate to appreciate the captain who picks you, but I don’t think that should be the predominant feeling. You built a robot and played a game that the captain deemed would be an asset. They should be as grateful to you for joining their alliance as you to them for the invitation.

I’ve always thought gracious was better, but honestly why is there a whole formula anyways? Just say what’s on your mind. Those are the best acceptances anyways.


Let’s admit it, it is just tradition at this point. Gracious Professionalism IS something that SHOULD be judged by others, not assigned to ourselves. But, in FIRST, we tend to use self-assigned Gracious Professionalism as a goal to achieve/standard to hold ourselves to. Not necessarily a self-assigned state. I describe my team as gracious professionals because it is a standard that I hold my students to.


To me, saying “We graciously accept” is akin to saying “I am the most humble person around”. Whether or not your actions are gracious is not something you get to decide for yourself; rather it is an ideal you strive towards, and others decide whether you truly live up to the ideal. If you think you have been gracious, and are actively trying to be a gracious professional, but others don’t think you are, then the truly gracious course of action is to accept the criticism and figure out how you can change to be better going forward. Declaring your own actions as gracious and broadcasting that to the world is, to me, antithetical to the very definition of being gracious. (Using the general “you” in this paragraph, to be clear. Not a judgement on you, Jared, individually.)

That said, I can see where you are coming from with your impression of the dynamic that “gratefully accepts” creates. I don’t know that I personally agree but the point you raise does make sense. I have no issues with something along the lines of “Team XXXX would love to join your alliance” or something similar; I think that still conveys a certain level of gratefulness and certainly excitement to be teaming up without making it feel like a favor from the captain to the picked team, and I would say that it is also a gracious way to accept.


Team (…) is energized to join your alliance :smile:


Continuing the discussion from Gratefully vs Graciously:


Let’s just swap words in “gracious professional”. “Team XXXX professionally accepts”


Hey, for all you who’d like to feel old: that thread is older than the freshmen on our team this year. Have fun!

On 1672 we’ve fallen into the “say what everyone else is saying” trap for sure (myself included :sweat_smile:); there are lots of great acceptances punning our team name, I’d love to see some next year.


My favorite is “Team 112 would love to be your plus one!”
And any ones that play off of the team name.


Team 2687 would love to become your apprentice.

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I bet team 2468 has a lot of fun with those, too…

The correct answer is use a team pun (either based on your team or their’s, but if you can somehow make it pun off both names that is A++), but when you go up as a student the nerves can get to you and you’ll just go through the motions and say “graciously accept”


I’ve got a robot older than that thread. I must be getting close to fossilized.