The essence of commitment

I had a strange conversation with a guy this week.  I needed him to sign up to do something.  He didn’t want to do it.    His way of telling me this was to say that he “didn’t want to commit in case he had to decommit later” – of course this was by email not an actual, whatchamacallit, a conversation.  I’m wondering if that should be de-commit.  Or, actually, I’m wondering if there’s even such a word.  Surely “commit” means just that – to commit to do something means you’ll do it, come what may. Much more than a maybe, somewhat more than a promise, as good as a guarantee from a reputable manufacturer?   We’re talking about saying you’re going to do something and then doing it.  His name, in case you’re wondering, wasn’t John Kerry.  Although you can imagine how he’d have explained it to me had he committed: “I committed to do it before I de-committed from doing it.”

That narrowly beat a conversation earlier in the week that included two words I never thought I’d hear next to each other: “hardcore strategy.”  I have no idea what that means. But I think I need to add it to my CV.  Along with the phrase “always committed unless I need to de-commit, in which case I promise to inform you in writing no later than 30 days after I’ve already de-committed.”

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