|Losing friends? Ask yourself, “Am I a continual pain or a continuous one?"|
|Wednesday, October 3, 2012|
By ANNE DONNELL
You can use this for your column. I’ve looked it up, but the explanation is unclear. What is the difference between continuous and continual? -Smart Friend
It’s so good to have smart friends; their conversation alone is priceless. Embroider that on something.Which makes me think of Alice Roosevelt Longworth. She famously displayed an embroidered pillow which read, “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” You can purchase a T-shirt sporting that from Café Press (online) or look around locally and have it done. Nice to wear on those days you’re feeling the misanthropy (general hatred, disdain, or mistrust of the human species or human nature). The political season tends to bring on the misanthropy. The U.S. presidential season brings on the misanthropy all right and the heart attacks and the strokes and some highly questionable version of “truth.”
[ATA – According to Anne. Alice Longworth (1884-1980, American), the daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt and wife of Nicholas Longworth, Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1925 to his death in 1931. Two days after Alice’s birth her mother and paternal grandmother died, devastating her father and leaving him often unwilling to say his daughter’s name as she was named for her mother.
[Alice became quite a character, rising to national prominence when her father became President (1901-1909), so famous a song survived, “Alice Blue Gown,” and her exploits (she loved to break rules) did, too. As a young lady she smoked in public (considered scandalous but not for health reasons), kept a pet snake, Emily Spinach, while living in the White House, and generally was considered either difficult or delightful. Her father said, “I can run the country, or I can control my daughter. I cannot do both.”
[Mrs. Longworth remained in Washington after her husband’s death, becoming a legendary wit, nicknamed “the other Washington monument.” She turned that wit on herself, also, saying, after two breast cancer surgeries, that she was the only “topless octogenarian” in Washington. She involved herself in the politics of both parties and was friend to several presidents.]
I learned that song “Alice Blue Gown” and sang it at Girl Scout camp. Sometimes I really wonder about the 50s.
DOWN TO BUSINESS. Answers.com says, “Continual implies recurrence at regular or frequent intervals - for example: ‘Dancing requires continual practice.’ Continual is duration that continues over a long period of time, but with intervals of interruptions…. Continuous means extending uninterruptedly in time: for example: 'a continuous procession of cars.' Continuous is duration that continues over a long period of time, but without intervals of interruption… These two words are NOT interchangeable.” [Emphasis added.]
The New Oxford American Dictionary (on Kindle) explains, “In precise usage, continual means ‘frequent, repeating at intervals’ and continuous means ‘going on without pause or interruption’… The most common error is the use of continuous where continual is meant…To prevent misunderstanding, some careful writers us intermittent instead of continual, and uninterrupted in place of continuous. [Emphasis added.]
Think L for leap for continual; think O as a circle (unending) for continuous.
Here’s a visual. Continual - - - - - - - Continuous _______
ONLINE DEPARTMENT “The Ultimate Ethnic Joke” (Thanks, M. R.) An Englishman, a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Welshman, a Latvian, a Turk, a German, an Indian, several Native Americans (including a Hawaiian and an Inuit), an Argentinean, a Dane, an Australian, a Slovak, an Egyptian, a Japanese, a Moroccan, a Frenchman, a New Zealander, a Spaniard, a Russian, a Guatemalan, a Colombian, a Pakistani, a Malaysian, a Croatian, an Uzbek, a Cypriot, a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Chinese, a Sri Lankan, a Lebanese, a Cayman Islander, a Ugandan, a Vietnamese, a Korean, an Uruguayan, a Czech, an Icelander, a Mexican, a Finn, a Honduran, a Panamanian, an Andorran, an Israeli, a Venezuelan, an Iranian, a Fijian, a Peruvian, an Estonian, a Syrian, a Brazilian, a Portuguese, a Liechtensteiner, a Mongolian, a Hungarian, a Canadian, a Moldovan, a Haitian, a Norfolk Islander, a Macedonian, a Bolivian, a Cook Islander, a Tajikistani, a Samoan, an Armenian, an Aruban, an Albanian, a Greenlander, a Micronesian, a Virgin Islander, a Georgian, a Bahaman, a Belarusian, a Cuban, a Tongan, a Cambodian, a Canadian, a Qatari, an Azerbaijani, a Romanian, a Chilean, a Jamaican, a Filipino, a Ukrainian, a Dutchman, a Ecuadorian, a Costa Rican, a Swede, a Bulgarian, a Serb, a Swiss, a Greek, a Belgian, a Singaporean, an Italian, and a Norwegian, walk into a very fine restaurant. “I'm sorry,” says the maître d', after scrutinizing the crowd, “You can't come in here without a Thai.”
ONE MORE “The Longest Password Ever” (Thanks, A. W.) During a recent password audit the company discovered an employee was using the following password: “MickeyMinniePlutoHueyLouieDeweyDonaldGoofySacramento.” When the employee was asked why she used such a long password, she rolled her eyes (yes, she has blonde hair) and said, “Hello! It has to be at least eight characters and include at least one capital.”
I think I’ve slurred enough groups with these two jokes, but I can’t help speculating about a Shakespeare-tinged password along the lines of that last one: “MacbethHamletJuliusCaesarOthelloKingLearRomeoJulietFalstaffLondon," I was blonde as a child, the formative years.
BW (Bigtime Word) freebooter – a pirate or buccaneer who roves about freely in search of booty. Freebooter as opposed to a tied-up booter? Oh, my, the things for which we have made words. And, is this roving about continual or continuous?