resolution (n)

resolution. re-solution. re-solve. To solve, as a math problem; or to re-solve it. With it comes a sense of relearning something already known; to be surprised by these things I already knew, but forgot.

n. late 14c., “a breaking into parts,” from Old French resolution (14c.) or directly from Latin resolutionem (nominative resolutio) “process of reducing things into simpler forms,” from past participle stem of resolvere“loosen” (see resolve ). Sense of “a solving” (as of mathematical problems) first recorded 1540s, as is that of “power of holding firmly” (cf. resolute ). Sense of “decision or expression of a meeting” is from c.1600.Meaning “effect of an optical instrument” is from 1860.

The HMS Resolute was a ship that, despite its proud name, became hopelessly stuck in the ice.  Its entire crew perished.  When, at last, it was “loosened” or “solved” or “resolved” from the ice, if floated, a skeletal ghost ship, until it was re-captured, and re-fitted.  Ultimately it was broken up, and re-formed into furniture (refurnished)–the President’s desk, for example.  That is, if at first you break your resolutions, perhaps one might re-solve them into something equally good: a desk, say.

I resolve to write more often on grad school vocab. Even if it’s just random mindputterings, like this one.

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