Insipid Indeed!

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is JUST. This has become a rather maligned word nowadays, but in my response I’ve let the word JUST give its lively rebuttal to its accusers. 😉

Can you imagine what it’s like to fall out of favor with the world? To have the inky-fingers set reject you? Call for your extermination?

They call me an INSIPID word. They say I mumble and fudge things. Extremists grumble that I’m not enthusiastic enough, that I never go all the way.

She should be deathly ill, they say, not just sick. He should be at the top of his game, not just getting there. The children should be little monsters, not just misbehaving.

Some so-called writing experts call me a “weasel word” and advise that I be deleted, along with my buddies about, a bit, and rather. Well, I rather think that’s just a bit extreme.

I call myself CONCILIATORY. I soothe, mollify the melodrama, keep writers from going off the deep end. If he’s just cold, why say he’s freezing, eh? If something’s just cute, why say it’s exquisite?

If someone’s on the brink of disaster, it seems like he’ll fly off any second. But if he’s just on the brink of disaster, well that implies a certain stop, right? A moment to breathe, to think, before tumbling over.

And if someone’s just about dead, he’s a whole lot better off than if he is dead. If something just died, it’s not cold and stiff yet. If he’s just out of prison, he hasn’t had time to get into more trouble. Maybe he’ll go straight?

I soften expectations. If she’s just a little girl, you can’t assume she’ll behave, physically or mentally, like an adult. He’s just an old man? So is he apt to enter the Ironman event? Don’t bank on it.

I try to be helpful by modifying criticism. If someone’s just eccentric, he’s not off the deep end yet. If she’s just touchy, she may well have other sterling qualities you could focus on.

I have a twin, also named JUST. We were once Siamese twins, but someone separated us. I veered toward ONLY where he took the UPRIGHT way. My twin adds a ring of truth wherever he appears. If you read that “Her words were just,” it’s not like they were just words. They were honest words.

We meet at the table sometimes. I’ll say “He’s just had two desserts” and my twin will say “He’ll get his just desserts later, when he gets on the scale.”


Note from me: Writing prompts are about having fun, they say, and I had mine with this word. 🙂

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