Words of a Feather

Submitted by Chris Conly on Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:30

Have you decided firmly on a course of action for 2019?  If so, then you have resolved to do a particular something or follow a particular plan.  Another and more familiar way of saying this is, “You have made a New Year’s Resolution.”  Deciding firmly on a course of action is the dictionary’s definition of the word resolve.  Resolve sounds a little like resolution, but the “v” stuck in resolve makes us question their possible similarity.  Then there is the part of speech aspect to add to our doubt.  We know a resolution or “a” anything is a noun.  Remember from grade school, a noun is a person, place, or thing, so when we see “a” in a sentence we prepare for a noun to come next.  We make a resolution, but we resolve to do something; a thing verses an action, a noun and a verb.  Can a noun and a verb have basically the same meaning?  I hope so because resolve also can be stated as a noun.  My resolve that I resolved for 2019 is off to a great start.  There ya go, noun and verb right there in the same sentence.

Back to the original question, did you state a resolution for 2019?  If so, I would like to hear it.  If not, I would like to hear why you didn’t.  I am curious about people’s thoughts on a new year. There are only three avenues to take.  A new year is really nothing new only a new number on the same old thing.  A new year should be acknowledged.  It is an opportunity to review last year and consider changes.  The third choice, a new year is a brand new beginning; nothing is the same; time to restart everything.  A new year can be viewed as nothing, a little something, or as everything.  That is the whole gamut.  We all fall somewhere on its scale.

The point I was making with the English lesson is that words have meaning.  How we use them and pair them with other words add to their meaning.  “A” resolution does not stand out like “the” resolution.  Each new year is not important if it is just “a” year, right?  What if you knew you were going to die in 2019?  Then it would become “the” year and you would view it and live it differently than “a” year.

            John begins his gospel with, In the beginning was the Word, not “a” word, but “the” Word.  Then he says that the Word was God.  Describing God as the Word may seem a bit odd.  God is much more than a word.  That is right, but John did not say “a” word, he said “the” Word.  John was specific in his choice of words.  He had a laser focus on the target of his gospel writing, and it was the words he used that accomplished his success.  All words contain power.  How we use them and arrange them matter.  Maybe we could all resolve to use them wisely in 2019 and beyond.