Just a few more words on the word ‘just’, dear reader. I was recently talking about the much maligned (and rightly so) adverb, not the deeply important adjectival version which is worth a post or two in its own right. In fact, it’s worth dwelling on the panoply of meanings that accrue to this 4-letter word. I’m struggling to think of another that works so hard for our beloved language.

It seems there are other people who have issues with the word. Only today, the highly esteemed (and rightly so) Seth Godin posted his concerns. In Seth’s post, the context of ‘just’ as a throwaway is what rankles with him.

What it boils down to is this. You’ve got to know your context, and use ‘just’ when it positively qualifies what you’re trying to say. Don’t use it if it obfuscates or reduces what you’re trying to say. You need to know the ‘mot juste’ for just. And rightly so.

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