The word you are seeking is ‘continued’…

We recently attended Marlena’s continuation ceremony.  She was recognized for her athleticism in cross county track. There was a slide show with images of the students during the school year, speeches from teachers and students alike, and a truncated graduation ceremony where each student walked across the stage and received a continuation certificate from the principal.

It was lovely.

There was one little fly in the ointment however. Multiple times throughout the speeches the adult speakers congratulated the students on having continuated. As in:

“Congratulations on having…um…continuated to high school”

Shudder.

“As you continuate to high school…”

Twitch.

I wanted to leap up from my seat and shriek “The word you are seeking is ‘continue’! As you continue to high school, congratulations on continuing!”

Instead I remained in my seat and watched my mother and father share in my horror as the word ‘continuated’ fell from the lips of educator after educator.

Is it because we congratulate people on having graduated, or on graduating? Were the two words mixed up in the minds of the teachers? Was it fear of public speaking or the stress of the two hour long event in an overly hot auditorium filled with hundreds of parents? Could it be the internet age with it’s emoticons and memes  slowly bastardizing the English language?

Whatever the cause the effect was jarring. I was pulled immediately out of the meat of whatever the speaker was saying each time I heard the misuse of continue and sent pondering the steps that led up to the use of that word.

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3 thoughts on “The word you are seeking is ‘continued’…”

  1. THANK you! Grammar Police of the World, UNITE! *smile* *hugs* While I didn’t experience that problem at my own (attendance of someone else’s) ceremony, there was plenty wrong with the whole thing anyway.

    I imagine the cause for “continuated” is a sort of “mass hysteria” phenomenon: one person didn’t know the correct word & came up with that one instead. Others followed suit in the heat of the extended moment.
    I often find myself pulled out of things by similar grammatical errors. I don’t like that it seems to happen more often of late, and that it’s happening while I’m reading news articles from “reputable agencies.”

    I fear that the busy-ness of life in our society/culture/what have you is overtaking the value of clear communication based on the long-tested and established rules of grammar and the like. Perhaps the implications don’t amount to the doom of Humanity, but I don’t think it’s completely harmless, either. Carelessness in one area of life easily leads to the same in other areas.

    Once again, I deeply appreciate that I am not alone in these thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. *HUGS*

  2. That sounds like a…very unique…situation.

    See what I did there? Continuated on Monday! (ARRRRGH! It’s hurts just to type!)

  3. You are wise, daughter, and worthy of the slings and arrows of outraged grammar barbarians. Well done.

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