You Cannot Graciously Accept

Hi All,
Hey I notice a lot of teams out there accept their invitation to an alliance by saying “Team xxxx Graciously accepts your invitation” (xxxx = your team number smartie!) This is a contradiction of terms. Gracious is one of those adjectives you cannot apply to yourself. Others have to apply it to you. Calling your own action gracious is a form of self praise, being a bit presumptuous and lacking the humility that goes along with tact and courtesy. So you can never really self apply the word “Gracious”. It’s like saying “We silently accept”.
Yes I KNOW what you mean and I agree that the spirit and understanding among FIRSTies (Is that a word?) is that the acceptance is in the spirit of gracious professionalism. SO why am I bothering if we all understand?
OK Here’s the deal. It’s bad English. Your English teachers might start dumping essays on FIRST team members over the regional weekends if they hear you misuse “Gracious”.
Just kidding, they’d never do that.
The bigger reason is simple. The media usually show up at the finals hoping for a story. If they could accurately predict the timing they would show up for the last round of the last match…(Sorry kids, good news don’t sell newspapers and FIRST is always good news!) But I have seen them there for the alliance picks. These are men and women who have been savaged by unscrupulous modifiers of otherwise perfect text, AKA Editors. They will pick up immediately that you are misusing “Gracious” and if they are really mean will quote you so that the Editor can’t correct it and well… your school will come across as one that teaches robotic but whose students ain’t got no sense of good grammar.
It’s far safer to “…Happily accept your gracious invitation…” or “…Gratefully accept your invitation…” something that doesn’t sacrifice proper wording and yet still shows the spirit of FIRST.
Having said all this, if someone can demonstrate that “Gracious” actually CAN correctly be used as a self description, then I will “Graciously stand corrected.”


Best wishes

Steve Alaniz



When the person says this they are showing that their TEAM is accepting the offer graciously. not them, they are a representative so it makes it alright to say that. Its the same as saying “Team xxxx accepts your iinvitation with great honor”.

This topic has been covered before. Go here for all the fun…

I’m a personal fan of “Team XXXX accepts Team XXXX’s gracious offer.”

or …

“In the spirit of Gracious Professionalism, Team XXXX accepts your invitation.”

“Thanks for thinking of us, it would be WICKED AWESOME to join you guys.”
-paraphrased from 166.

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No… if you are part of the team, calling your team gracious is the same as calling yourself gracious. As you said, you ARE the entire team’s representative.
Accepting “with great honor” is also bad English because the meaning is ambiguous (Who’s being honored? and who’s honoring them? and who’s on FIRST! (sorry…))"… you are “Honored to accept…” I’m not saying people don’t say it the way you propose… but it’s incorrect.
So I stand by my comment for the moment… but ever ready to accept correction.

Steve Alaniz

We did that when we were in SVR, thought it’d be fun to bring a little of the east coast out west with us :stuck_out_tongue:

I didn’t see that thread! Still the fact that this is continuing to happen means it still needs to be dealt with. All I can say is, you wouldn’t violate the rules for programming language no need to violate the rules of the English language.

Steve Alaniz

I totally agree. It’s the kind of thing up with which I am fed!

hehehe, or one could use the answer 237 used at NJ…" Team 237 would like to accept with a YEAH!":stuck_out_tongue:


Steve Alaniz

For the record “Heck yeah man!” is not the best response to an alliance request either… (Wisconsin 06…)

my way of accepting is:

“omg omg omg you actually picked us… omg we accept”

but of course… thats VEX

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how about:
“It is a Glorious day to die!”-Worf

The code won’t compile if you violate the rules of the programming language…but English is more robust, it seems to work pretty well no matter how we engineering nerds mangle it!

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LOL… Funny thing: We actually told our team representative (big giant leprechaun, MWR 07) to not say “We graciously accept.” Instead we gave him multiple alternatives; however, being Josh he still said it anyways.

It’s just a common misunderstanding and teams have been doing it since the beginning.

If picked, students on team 45 have been ordered to not say “graciously accept” for a couple of years. They can accept in any creative way, saying whatever they want, as long as it represents the team well and does not insult the other teams.

In St. Louis, team 1444 picked us, and Kyle Love responded with something like this:

“Hoooo yea! Team 45 would love to ‘Shake n Bake’ with team 1444” (or something like that)

(we watched the Ricky Bobby movie on the ride over to St. Louis, so “Shake n Bake” was the saying of the weekend)

At the Boilermaker Regional, team 1501 picked us, and Nick Boyce was a little more toned down:

“Team 45 would absolutely LOVE to be partnered with team 1501 - we accept”

I am still waiting to see a poem or a song sung by an accepting student. That would be cool.


Roses are red; violets are blue.
Your invitation’s accepted by 1902.

Or perhaps in the form of a haiku?

Exploding Bacon
Humbly and gladly accepts
Your invitation

Practice these, James. You’re using one in Vegas! ;-]

Whatever happened to “Sure.”