What’s one reason I’m annoyed at all the overuse of the word, “Just”? It makes the next words in the sentence disappear. Why? Because it functions like bad comedy does.
Think of a joke you’ve heard. Over and over again. Maybe the details have changed, but the set-up is the same. It’s no longer funny. Instead, it backfires. Now it’s annoying. It accomplishes the exact opposite of what humor is supposed to do!
Every time I hear an interview on TV or radio, and the person keeps injecting “just”’s, I cringe. Here’s why:
~ > doesn’t capture our attention. Because it’s so over-used, we almost don’t even see or hear it.
~ > isn’t interesting anymore. And if something isn’t interesting, we stop watching and listening.
~ > makes the speaker lose his or her credibility in our eyes. If they had something of substance to say, they wouldn’t need to use, “just”’s.
~ > takes energy away from everyone. The speaker. The listener. The total atmosphere. Like my German friend, Sylvia described bad online dating situations: “There is no spark.”
~ > wastes everyone’s time. A filler word. You know the speaker is killing time. Merely bridging one word to another.
~ > signifies that the speaker and the message aren’t worth listening to. Think Valley Girls. Do you go to them for up-to-date resources on important matters? Probably not.
Just think of the last time you were asked to speak. Maybe you were emphatic about your message. “It was just really encouraging to me.” Sure you know you’re passionate about what you’re saying. But the words just come out wrong.