The Pulchritude Award: Alacrity

James Derry

The Pulchritude Award goes to words that don’t sound anything like what they mean. Today’s winner is ‘alacrity.’
Alas. Alack. Alacrity. It certainly doesn’t sound like a happy word. But that’s exactly what it is. Alacrity (n): brisk and cheerful readiness. It comes from the Latin root, ‘alacer,’ which is also the root for ‘allegro’ (which just sounds so much prettier). Anyway, if you ever feel tempted to use this word, I suggest you move with alacrity to a thesaurus and pick an alternative. How about ‘vim,’ ‘vigor,’ ‘zeal,’ ‘glee,’ ’enthusiasm?’

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