A Word on Wednesday: Vacancy

Generally, the modern use of the noun vacancy is only considered in context of its opposite: “No Vacancy.” And, No Vacancy seems preferred.

Vacancy means there a room at the lodge, an empty office for rent, an unassigned seat on the bus (or the supreme court), an open position at the firm. This common use of vacancy developed around the mid 1950s.

However, a British dictionary first defines vacancy as “the state or condition of being vacant or unoccupied.” This seems close to the archaic definition: “absence of activity, idleness,” which originated from Medieval Latin.

Americans are used to operating at capacity.
Our days, closets, vacations, and hearts are full.

Vacancy is a rarity, at times, it’s created only by a cancellation.

“No Vacancy” is celebrated with every yes to an invitation, to an extra project, to bids from a neighbor, friend, or family member.

With urgency, vacancy is extinguished every day with busyness. Get a second job, learn another language, get the advanced degree, participate in secular and religious practices, cook seven days of meals in a single day!

Carpe Diem. Live life to the fullest.

However, please reserve space for vacancy this winter.

 

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