Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Continuous use of Contiguous

Someone please tell me the substantive difference between "Contiguous" and "Continuous".
I realize there is some nuance of difference, but not enough to make that much of a difference.
I think writers just like "contiguous" because it makes them sound smarter to the general population.
Dictionary.com provides this definition of "Contiguous": Connected in time; uninterrupted. Or Sharing an edge or boundary; touching.
And this for "Continuous": Uninterrupted in time, sequence, substance, or extent. or Attached together in repeated units.
To summarize: They are synonyms but aren't listed as synonyms for each other (at least not at Dictionary.com or in Microsoft Word's thesaurus). And, personally, I think the word "contiguous" just sounds bad - like you mispronounced "continuous".
I think we should start a petition to ban the word "contiguous" from the English language and common usage... along with that first "r" in February.

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