Today let’s examine another such detail. Although they are both adjectives, the words continual and continuous have very similar but different meanings. Those differences between the definitions can make all the difference between mediocre writing and superior writing.
Continual describes something which happens over and over or is frequently repeated. Continuous describes something which occurs without interruption or is unbroken. Again, the two words have very similar meanings. And yet the differences between them can make all the difference in your writing.
Consider the example sentence in the graphic above. The use of continuous may seem appropriate. But continuous describes something which occurs without interruption or is unbroken. Nonconformances in practice do not occur without interruption. That would mean the entire system operates only outside acceptable parameters. No realistic, modern engineering system for a production line does that.
However, nonconformances can happen over and over or be frequently repeated. Thus, continual is the word of choice here, not continuous. The rewritten sentence would then look like this:
Don’t be confused. Understand the differences in definition, and you can avoid the continual misuse of continuous and continual. Attending to such details in your writing communicates to your audience that you will attend to the details of their concerns. And that’s how superior writing projects the superior professional image that all successful businesses want for their organizations and brands.