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dis•con•ti•nu•i•ty(ˌdɪs kɒn tnˈu ɪ ti, -ˈyu-)
n., pl. -ties.
lose the thread To lose one’s train of thought in a discussion; to have the continuity of one’s thoughts or words interrupted. Thread in this phrase is the central thought connecting successive points, a continuous flow which is carried on in spite of digressions or interruptions. This figurative use of thread dates from the mid-17th century.
We laughed so violently … that he could not recover the thread of his harangue. (Frances Burney, Diary and Letters, 1782)
side-track To diverge from the main subject, course, or road; to go off on a tangent; to shelve or otherwise delay consideration of some matter. Literally, to side-track means to shunt a train onto a siding, off the main track, hence its figurative implications.
The business of the minister is to preach the gospel, not … to side-track on great moral issues. (Advance [Chicago, Illinois], June, 1893)
A related expression which also employs railroad terminology is off the track.
table In U.S. parliamentary procedure this verb means to ‘postpone action on’:
The amendment which was always present, which was rejected and tabled and postponed. (The Century XXXVII, 1873)
In British parliamentary procedure, it means to ‘present for discussion’:
If any more “Old Residents” wish to be heard, they must table their names. (Pall Mall Gazette, Jan. 3, 1887)
This is a confusing state of affairs and must be watched carefully by those encountering the term in what may be foreign contexts.
|Noun||1.||discontinuity - lack of connection or continuity|
separation - the state of lacking unity
continuity - uninterrupted connection or union