A good client of mine – a guy I admire and definitely respect – pointed out he doesn’t like the word “just” in any copy.
I never really thought about it much – I typically just wrote what came to mind. But then I thought about it, and realized it’s a pretty useless word most of the time. Look two sentences back – does the word “just” add anything to the sentence? It does not.
Giving it even more thought, I find the word limiting. “Just the facts, ma’am” – ok, there’s a good use. But yea, limiting.
I made a conscious effort to stop using it, and I think my writing is better for it. I use different words – “exactly”, “recently”, etc. I like it.
Just a quick thought on this hot summer day (ok, there’s another good use, but my client writing usually isn’t that informal.)