gist/just eggcorn?

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 22 03:50:57 UTC 2013

Victor Steinbok wrote:
> Two problems with UD. First, as is the case with all UD entries, it is
> unverifiable and undocumented. Second, it actually suggests that the
> eggcorn interpretation is correct.

Thanks for your responses Charlie and Victor.

I agree with you, Victor, that the Urban Dictionary entry provides
excellent evidence that "just" is an eggcorn for "gist" in the
phrases: "the just of it" versus "the gist of it". I posted the UD
entry to provide fellow list members with evidence supporting the
eggcorn hypothesis.

 After the text of the UD entry I included the following line:

[Begin excerpt from previous post]
Maybe the rationale for using the word "just" involves obtaining or
imparting "just enough knowledge"?
[End excerpt]

My goal in writing the line above was to elaborate upon the definition
given in the Urban Dictionary and further explain the nature of the
eggcorn. I apologize for not communicating effectively.

An alternative hypothesis would explain the use of "just" by saying
that it is a spelling error. I attempted to provide evidence for this
hypothesis also. The spelling of "jist" for "gist" would probably be
accepted by most people as a spelling error. Yet, we also know that
some individuals pronounce "just" as "jist". Hence, some people who
hear the word "gist" spoken might believe that they are hearing the
word "just". These people might write "just" for "gist".

These people might make no attempt to connect the conventional
definition of "just" to this new use of "just". They might view the
new use of "just" as unrelated to the conventional definition. There
are many words with multiple seemingly unrelated senses. For these,
admittedly hypothetical, people "just" is not an eggcorn for "gist".

In any case, I do think that substituting "just" for "jist" is an
eggcorn substitution for some people.


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