16 February 2011

The "Just About" Debate

Thanks to Google Reader's "recommendation" feature, I stumbled upon this blog sometime last year.  It's a great blog that I've added to Reader, and I often find myself linking other people to certain posts and making them read this or that.

But I've become obsessed with a post from last week.  Holly (the blog owner) had an argument with her husband about the meaning of "just about."  As in she could "just about get out of the car" when he had parked really close to the next car in a parking lot.  He thought this meant she could NOT get out of the car.  She thought it was very clear that she COULD exit the car.  (Go here to read the actual, original post.)  She posted a poll on her blog and let the readers have at it.  Nearly a week later, her most recent post was about a few different things, but one of them was STILL going on about "just about," mostly because her readers are still yammering about it in her comments, even when her post ISN'T abot "just about."

I asked Mom last night for her opinion regarding "just about" and we got in a rather heated discussion, which somehow devolved into "Well, how would you know?  You like a guy who shakes his butt in comercials!"  (Don't ask.)

So, what do you think?  Does "just about" mean you CAN do or that you can NOT do it?


  1. I love Nothing but Bonfires. :) I couldn't make up my mind about this one. I generally use the term to mean almost. As in "I'm just about done." Which I suppose actually means no. Argh.

  2. I sort of agree with Julie - I use it to mean almost, which means it will eventually be a yes, but currently means no. But I would have said I just about couldn't get out of the car, but that's me- I AP tested out of freshman english - and didn't need any more english classes in college, so I am not the best person

  3. just about = almost but not quite
    so as written, technically, it means she could not, but almost was able to.
    But enough people use it the less technically correct way that I would have asked her if she could or could not, instead of assuming.

  4. P.S. I like watching Mikey shake his butt