I admit it. I’m a word freak.
I care so much about how conversation and vocabulary have become meaningless dust that blows away, that I have decided to come out with my alarm.
People are yakking and yakking up a storm and saying nothing.
Have you noticed?
One reason is that they are afraid to tell the truth, and also to deal with truth.
If this annoys you, and well it should, watch out for my rants on how what we say has become empty and I’m going to talk about it!
Today’s empty phrase is “just saying“.
What, I ask you, is the difference between “I’m just saying” and “I am saying”?
Not much, you may believe.
However, upon closer examination, “just saying” removes all liability and personal commitment to anything you might say.
I’m talking here about things that are said that are not funny, but potentially informative.
As in, “You have long nose hairs. Just saying”.
“Just saying” is a hand-holding cousin to “just kidding“.
Are you just kidding or have I suddenly sprung hairs in my nose?
In other words, if you are just kidding, just kid!
Perhaps you are testing the waters, or fearing that you are about to be deleted, yourself, for daring to make a statement of any kind.
This is clearly a matter for elite philosophers.
Why is it that even when answering a basic question such as, what is your name? the answer itself often comes with a question mark.
It goes like this.
Question: What is your name?
I understand that the goal of conversation is to water words down to a degree where no one can possibly be offended.
God forbid someone doesn’t like my name.
I offer them, by way of a question mark, a democratic choice.
Yes, this technically allows others to choose their own name for me.
Cool. I’m nothing if not open to change.
I vote–because who am I to set a rule?–that “just saying” be relegated to being a joke tagline.
Here’s a friendly example:
“Real estate prices on the Westside of Los Angeles have tripled in the last 3 years and it will soon be impossible for lower income people (who used to be middle class) to buy a home.
I’m just saying”.