Language Note of the Week 34

“Just” is a useful and slippery term.
It can be an intensifier (“Just stop it!”) or a synonym for “fair-minded” (“He’s a just man, but a pain to deal with”).

“Just” can often sound dismissive – as in “It was just one of those things.”

Consider this example:

“Adjudicators are just people and they mark candidates accordingly.”

Two problems:
1) does “just” mean “righteous” or “equitable”?
2) if “just” is an intensifier – which is the more likely possibility here – is there a suggestion that “adjudicators” should be MORE than “people”?
3) (but who’s counting?) …perhaps this is a transfer error from Slovenian.

Clearer:

“Adjudicators are ONLY HUMAN and they mark candidates accordingly.”

All Language Notes of the Week are available at:
http://www2.arnes.si/~bjason/LNW.pdf

(Skupno 9 obiskov, današnjih obiskov 1)
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