The best discussion at the library today involved the proper way to thank a donor who contributes to an organization every year. Just in case the usage police were out in force, we weighed the pros and cons for appreciating "continued support" against "continuing support".
The longer I pondered, the more I thought about Leggs control top pantyhose. Do pantyhose provide continued support or continuing support? Mostly pantyhose are a source of persistent irritation. They sag and bag around my ankles, or the saddle migrates south toward my knees. I'm continually thankful for a job that rarely requires donning pantyhose.
Men should not wear pantyhose for many enduring reasons. Primarily, they can't distinguish between nude, "barely there", buff, beige, taupe, coffee, and suntan in the hosiery department. I'm constantly grateful that the popularity of "suntan" pantyhose and Yardley white lipstick peaked while I was in junior high.
When stuck in such a usage dilemma, I usually try to substitute a completely different word. So I suggested replacing continuing or continued with "constant". Thank you for your constant support... Another person suggested "faithful". Dogs are faithful, but annual contributors don't want to think they are the dog. As Sally asked Harry, "Is one of us supposed to be a DOG in this scenario?"
That dog is Lassie. What's up with the continuous yapping? It's so annoying. You say Timmy fell in the well again, and he's dropped the thesaurus too?
Somewhere between persistent and sustaining we can find the properly nuanced word for reliably donating to a worthy cause. Then we can acknowledge the donation in a proper manner.
"Persisting" sounds like an itchy rash that defies treatment. "Sustain" is what honey and condensed milk do for Winnie-the-Pooh. "Continued" has problems with being postponed, adjourned, interrupted or resumed at the city council meeting. "Enduring", "unfaltering", and "needing no renewal" are all synonyms for "continuing". Of course, we always want donors to renew, or none of us would get so many letters from charities this time of year.
I've never had a pair of pantyhose that endured. Even the ones with continuous support falter.
© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder