If you hear this word, panic!

More often than not, just means that something is being added or was not intended at the beginning of the conversation. It might indicate something is trying to be crept in under the carpet, or you are going to be persuaded nudged of topic after the “just” ..

So, set your warning signs & listen 👂 carefully, what follows the just.

Perhaps all is fine and i am being overly careful … do let me know.

Common (mis)uses

  • It’s just 10 mins to the beach 🏖️ (by plane!)
  • It’s just a simple thing, shouldn’t take (you) alot of time,
  • can you just do it? you know what your doing, it’ll be much quicker
  • i just wanted to let you know… i.e. it’s gossip insider trading, i want something later, etc.
  • i just wanted to say … retraction

Some legitimate uses

  • “Just a minute” if it’s 60 seconds or less.

By the way” is another warning sign. One hears that when leaving, so sit down and listen for another 30 mins (for another cultural interpretation see married to a Portuguese).

by the way is almost always at the end of a social meeting, usually occurs in the middle of an interaction. The social sandwich implies sweet-tough-sweet. So expect the just to be smuggled into the tough section, or prefixed by silky words (sweet) – request (just) – silky words (sweet).

Sheryl Crow : you and your silky words