Do You Have Alacrity?

Yesterday, we had a delightful snowstorm.  However, as I drove home from the grocery store, I had a not so delightful experience.  The roads were slick.  I had to go up a hill to get home.  My car made it only three-fourths the way up before I lost traction and couldn’t go any further.  When I tried to turn around, my car slide sideways.  Because I couldn’t get any traction, I couldn’t go forward nor backward – only sideways!  Just then, two nice young men came out of a near-by home and with alacrity pushed my car so I wouldn’t be stuck.  I was very grateful.

Do you know someone who is always cheerful and who responds cheerfully when asked to do something?  That trait of cheerful willingness is call alacrity.  Alacrity (uh-lak-ri-tee) is a noun that also means a readiness to serve or eagerness.  My two rescuers responded with a cheerful willingness to help me out.  Children do not normally have alacrity when asked to do their jobs around the house.  Some people respond with alacrity when asked to serve on a committee or to take a meal in to someone who is ill.  Alacrity.  Responding cheerfully to a situation or being eager and ready to serve.  (The key here is being cheerful.  People may help out or they may serve others but will be grumpy about it!)

There may be folks at your work who are just the opposite.  They are grumpy all the time no matter what.  Their grumpy attitude could be a bane to their employer.  Bane (beyn) is a noun that means a source of persistent annoyance or exasperation.  An employer could be annoyed or exasperated when an employee is always grumpy and negative.  Employers and co-workers do not like working with grouchy, crabby people.

Gambling is often the bane to the spouse of a gambler.  The spelling of foreign names is often the bane to newspaper copy editors.  Technology is the bane to Luddites.  Snow is the bane to cautious drivers!

And speaking of snow, we will be pummeled with more snow over the next few days according to the weather forecast.  (But then, are weather forecasters always right???)    Pummel (puhm-uhl) is a verb that means to beat or strike repeatedly, to pound or thump, or to beat or thrash especially with fists.  Weather forecasters usually use the word pummel when storms repeatedly hit in one area of the country.  Siblings often act out the word when they pummel or repeated strike another sibling with their fists.

I don’t mind snowstorms pummeling where I live because that means we won’t have a drought during the summer.  So, sometimes getting pummeled can have a positive end result.  If you live in an area that gets pummeled with storms (whether rain, ice, snow, or wind) I hope that you respond with alacrity to help those affected by the storm!

Posted in New Words. Comments Off on Do You Have Alacrity?
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