Just is just a word, right? I think there is more to the little word than dictionaries explain. People sprinkle it throughout their speech with abandon. The standard definition is that “just” can be either an adjective or an adverb. In my opinion, it has become a connecting word that has nothing to do with a topic of conversation. I began to listen to folks talking, wanting to have a good example to examine.
Forgive the capitals, but I found a quote in the newspaper* that shows what I’m talking about.
“I’m still scared to death, but it was JUST time to do this,” he said. “We JUST found this awesome little space that fit our needs, and it’s JUST been coming together ever since….”
The reporter would not have included the “ums” or “ahs” of the interview. However, four-letter “just” has lots more clout, not easily dismissed. The first time I mentioned this connecting phenomenon to my husband, I used the word twice in the next sentence. Golly! I’d been infected without knowing it! I need a speech filter immediately, and it’s not sold on Amazon!
*Byrd, Caitlin. “Asheville clothing store MTN Merch to open.” Asheville Citizen-Times June 10, 2015