Be just and fear not

I’m becoming increasingly aware of “Just saying…” being tagged on at the end of online comments, emails, and contributions to letters pages.

What does it mean? Surely what has been said is self-evident so why does the writer feel the need for a redundant add-on?

Understandable as a brief summation: “Just saying that Scotland should be independent,” following a lengthy exposition on the history of the independence movement and why recent opinion polls show support at unprecedented levels.

Or as a discussion starter: “Just saying… stray thoughts you may or may not agree with, but worthy of further consideration I think.”

Even as an emphatic assertion of foregoing accuracy: “Just saying this is my steadfast conviction, and should be yours – unless you lack the testicular fortitude to argue.”

Otherwise, I can only interpret it as a hand-washing gesture: “I know this might offend you or even induce paroxysms of rage that will have you strangling your wife (or the cat) or going on a shooting rampage at your nearest Brexit-supporting household, but don’t blame me.”

By adding “Just saying…” the writer is apparently disassociating from what has been said and claiming absolution from any negative impact on readers.

Either scrap it or scrap the piece you feel is in need of such a wussy sign-off qualifier. Readers are not stupid. They can see what’s been said. Other than the dwindling band of Daily Mail and Torygraph followers, maybe. Just saying…

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