As a lawyer for our local government, I write resolutions from time to time. These are not friendly little lists of hopes meant to invite a symbolic new year of permanent change in girth, perspective of egotistical self, or eradication of mental slack. No, in this context the word resolution is intended to mean “reducing a complicated theory to simple form.”
Believe me readers, these kinds of resolutions that lawyers write are things you never ever want to be forced to read. Though most legal drafters have finally dispensed with the archaic “party of the first part” repertoire, there are still far too many terms foist upon non-legal readers which resemble disastrous syntactic amalgamations. Case in point, that was a thirty-three word sentence for the concept “lawyers are too wordy.” (But it was a lot prettier, wasn’t it? Wasn’t it?)
The point is, there remains in my toolbox this list of painfully contrived machinations like “wherefore” and “whereinas” and the dreaded “heretoforinafter” which I am forced to use from time to time. Because that last word is actually a shortened way of saying “for the rest of the document as used solely within this document it shall be called something shorter for convenience.” But who gets that? Why don’t we just say “from now on?”
The only logical answer is that these words were created and adopted at a time when some chubby guy in a white wig contemplated a show of force against the commoners, didn’t have the brawn, and used the only weapon at his disposal: a dippy fountain pen with a big fluffy feather. Point of fact, even in modern day lawyering these words have become self-serving vehicles of job security. Think about it: it takes one lawyer to write it, one lawyer to read it, two lawyers to fight over enforcing its terms, and one or more former lawyers turned judge or justice to decide the outcome of the fight.
But it’s the other meaning – “an expression of determination” – which is conjured up each New Year’s Day as we make our list of annual goals. But why? Why do I want to express my determination?
This year, I really don’t want to follow that fat old white guy around any more. I want to fight back. I’m sick and tired of writing things down that I want to do. Any list I make will just look like a to-do list, and I have plenty of lists in my life already. These aren’t helpful … they serve only as reminders of my self-inflicted failures as each day goes on and they are not accomplished.
So screw expressions of this sort. I don’t want it, I tell you. It’s time to break with the tradition of heretoforinafterwards, fluffy pens, and fluffy words for the sake of job security. I want brawn. I want action. I want movement. I want … REVOLUTION! Because Revolution is rotation. Revolution is completion of a course. But most of all, Revolution is a sudden radical change. And that’s what I want. A sudden, radical change.
So that’s it. This year, I’m looking for change and movement. And this year, I’m ready for it. And you know, there’s just one word, one very powerful word, that adequately expresses this concept – and it fully and succinctly responds to all 550 of the words I’ve already written above: