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Just and Only

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by FireJimTressel.com, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Does anyone else get riled up when you read the words "just" and "only?" I've always been taught you limit the use for both specifically for when referring to one of something.
    So, you could say, "Johnny Hotshot allowed only one hit in four innings." But you could not say, "Suzie Shortpants allowed herthree walks last game."

    I say you shouldn't use "just" or "only" for anything other than one because otherwise you wouldn't know where to draw the line. Three hits? Four Field Goals? Five first downs? Six free-throw attempts? Hopefully you get my point.

    Also, isn't it editorializing to suggest the reader should think five first downs or six free-throw attempts is a low number of those stats?
  2. Willie-Butch

    Willie-Butch Member

  3. Just when it's necessary. And only then. :)
  4. Isn't it also editorializing to use "just one hit?"

    I say, if it works for a particular sentence, use it. If there is no need, don't use it. Sometimes, it adds emphasis...
  5. Superfly has spoken, and I agree. We all will abandon all use of the words "just" and "only."
  6. well, I only have 82 posts, so my word isn't in stone. Sorry, I had to use it just this once...

    I'm such an ass...
  7. Ha ha! Fitting, though. Good one.
  8. MertWindu

    MertWindu Active Member

    I think when you're trying to make the point that it wasn't a high total, there's nothing wrong with it. I find myself using just and only a lot in roundups, when you're trying to pack a little plot into a very small space. Helps the reader get the hint. But if you don't have the common sense to know that "just" should not precede, say, five hits in a seven inning game, then you probably shouldn't use it at all.
  9. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    If you're going to use only, superfly, use it correctly:

    "I have only 82 posts..." not "I only have....."
  10. True, spnited...
  11. Dan Rydell

    Dan Rydell Guest

    nothing wrong with it at all.

    guy goes nine innings, gives up just three hits, or five, that's pretty good.

    i think there are much better issues to worry about.
  12. Two of the most overused words in copy.

    They're unnecessary 90 percent of the time.

    And to borrow from Dan's example, a guy goes nine innings and gives up three hits, you don't have to tell the reader that he gave up just three hits. Three hits over nine innings is pretty good, and the reader understands this. We don't have to hit 'em over the head with the fact that it was a good performance.
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