Thursday May 15, 2003

Just Cause

Yet another word worth extracting from your vocabulary is “just” in the sense of meaning “and nothing more.”

Just has its place in the realm of meaning moral excellence or justice.

The just I’m ferreting out makes sentences flat by stripping away liveliness with a self-effacing facade. “I’m just calling.” “I’m just trying to find out.” “I’m just wondering if this or that.” “I was just too upset.”

Why is this observation important? If you want to say “just” on purpose, that’s okay. If, however, you are a “just” abuser and unaware of your habit, then clearing it up will make you a more direct and powerful communicator.

After some practice, you will see that this exercise in self-control is a just cause.

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