Help me understand how idiomatic this usage of the Present Simple is. Usually, PS conveys repeated actions within relatively long (or almost unlimited) time frames. For instance, “The sun rises in the East.” “We live in France.” “I like cheese.” But what bothers me is other examples in which it’s clear that the actions expressed by the Present Simple are within relatively short periods of time.
Example A 1) A: You were out very late last night. I know!
2) B: Quite right! I was out until three o'clock. And I had too many drinks. That's why my hand shakes.
1) A: What’s up with Jake? He is acting strangely today.
2) B: He offended me yesterday and now he apologizes every other minute.
Example C (this is a real quote from Obama’s speech)
The Republicans were a laugh line throughout the night, especially the presidential field that was, at the same time, holding its 17th debate in North Charleston, South Carolina. "Why do you laugh?" the president deadpanned at one point, to more laughs.
It’s obvious that in all these examples the actions “my hand shakes, he apologizes every other minute, why do you laugh” have started very recently and are not going to last for a long time. That is, the hand is not going to shake for years, he is not going to be apologizing every other minute for months, and they are not going to laugh after the debate is over.
Does it sound logical until now?
Now I wonder if I can apply this principle in other contexts. The contexts have been made up by me.
I have been witnessing my friend calling to his wife on the phone for 10 minutes. It is a series of calls which doesn’t seem to end immediately. In other words, I suppose that he will keep calling her for, at least, a few minutes more or maybe even more than that. Would it be correct to ask him in this situation: Why do you call her so many times? /Why do you call her every minute? / Why do you call her so often/frequently?
Let’s imagine that a group of people is having a conference. The conference is supposed to last for 3 weeks. There are a few subjects to discuss. And, let’s say, one of them is “The role of the internet access in rural areas”. What if this topic is being discussed during the first 5 days only. After that period a journalist covering the conference says: “The subject “The role of the internet access in rural areas” was being discussed only during the first five days but now the members of the conference don’t discuss it any more.
Would it be correct to say “don’t discuss it any more.”? Or would the Present Continuous be better here?