Time To Write — Word Choice Matters

ED97A8A9-A5D4-4158-9229-23F1C9229171“I’m sick of always having to repeat myself,” Alan said. “I am continuously explaining to you the proper way to complete the weekly reports and yet you always seem to make the same mistakes.”

“Excuse me, boss,” William said, “you are not continuously explaining anything to me. You are continually explaining the proper way to complete the reports.”

“What the hell are you talking about, William?”

“Well, boss,” William said, “continual means start and stop, while continuous means never-ending. If something occurs frequently or recurs intermittently, like making mistakes while preparing the weekly reports, it’s continual. It doesn’t happen ceaselessly, but it does happen regularly. But if something occurs unceasingly or exist without interruption, like the flow of a river or the way you demean and belittle everyone who works for you, it is continuous because it never pauses.”

“Oh for crissake, William,” Alan said. “Continuously or continually, you know full well what I meant.”

“Word choice matters, boss,” William said. “As a manager, you don’t want to create any uncertainty about what you mean because you’re using the wrong words, do you?”

“Create uncertainty? Are you kidding me?” Alan bellowed. Then he paused, took a deep breath, and said, “William, in order to dispel any uncertainty you may be experiencing, I’m going to choose my words very carefully so that they won’t be open to misinterpretation. You are continuously annoying and you are continually screwing up the weekly reports. So, I want to make myself perfectly clear. You’re fired!”


E2AADBFC-6AEF-46F0-BF71-3CC6CB996DDAWritten for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write: Random Words prompt, where the three words are “continuous,” “repeat,” and “uncertainty.”

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