‘I’m just saying’ is an expression you could just keep to yourself

It’s usually used as though it excuses what’s just been said

You know what I hate?

The expression “just saying.”

It’s usually used after spewing something at the very least negative or contradictory, but at worst, misogynistic, racist or hateful in some way.

It’s used as though it somehow justifies the comment. But before I get to that, the expression is “just saying” as opposed to what? Just singing? Shouting? Chanting like a Gregorian monk? What?

But, yes, it’s tagged on a strongly-worded opinion that the speaker expects will be unpopular or is inappropriate. As though it excuses what’s being said. That somehow, it has to be said and the person saying it has to be the one with guts to say it. As though they are actually saying, “You know it’s what everybody’s thinking, right?”

And that, above all, it is right (i.e., correct). Which, of course, it frequently isn’t. What it is, is an opinion.

But it’s a mainstay of social media speak in places like Facebook’s Campbell River Rant, Rave and Randomness group.

“Scottish people are cheap, cranky and talk funny…Just saying.” (Do you see what I did there, I used my own ethnic identity to illustrate how an inappropriate racial [ethnic?] insult is somehow justified by the ubiquitous “Just saying.” That way I don’t have to repeat some of the racist justifications I see that are delivered with “just saying.”)

urbandictionary.com gives some interesting additional definitions:

“TOP DEFINITION: a phrase used to indicate that we refuse to defend a claim we’ve made – in other words, that we refuse to offer reasons that what we’ve said is true.”

“PERSON-A: You shouldn’t hang out with her anymore.

PERSON-B: After all she’s done to help me? Wouldn’t that be pretty mean and selfish of me?

PERSON-A: I’m *just saying*, you should quit hanging out with her.”

Definition #2. “There is an obvious implication of what I just said, but I formally disavow that implication, although I actually believe it. That might be the wrong tie to wear. Just saying. (Implication: it makes you look ridiculous.)”

And my favourite: “Just saying” is a nice way of saying, “you’re a dumbass.” – “Hey man, I wouldn’t put the lighter fluid so close to the actual fire…just saying.”

And then this definition is the most in line with the way I see it used most often:

“5. Something you say when somebody points out that something you said is basically redundant or obvious, whether they put it bluntly or subtly, as if to remind them that there was no harm in saying it.”

Guy 1: Yeah, Meta Knight is a pretty hard character to deal with in Brawl.

Guy 2: There’s a reason he’s S-tier.

Guy 1: Just saying.”

And that’s the thing, it’s added as though there’s no harm in saying it. When, of course, there is.

It’s like, “…don’t get all upset about it, I’m just saying.” But why is the fact you’re just saying it a reason to not get upset?

It contradicts that old rhyme: Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. Which, of course, is a stupid thing to say – Just saying – because words do hurt.

Its definition and use varies quite a bit but it generally, to me, seems to also mean “don’t shoot the messenger.” As though it’s not the speaker’s fault that what he just said is true. Even if it isn’t.

There’s a great movement in our society to allow people to feel justified in saying whatever they want without any justification other than they have the right to do so. But it’s not true, you do have an obligation to show some sensitivity to the other speaker in a debate or, God forbid, an argument. If for no other reason than you want the right to have your opinion respected in return.

And I’m not “just saying,” that, I believe that to be true.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Coast Range makes a spectacular backdrop for orca heading towards Discovery Passage of Campbell River Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Frank Neil
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
MP Blaney invites feds to establish B.C.’s economic development agency on Vancouver Island

Citing the recent economic challenges faced by her riding, the MP says there’s no region more fitting of this mandate

The Campbell River Sportsplex in Willow Point is the voting station for the Feb. 27 municipal byelection. Voting runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
Voting underway in Campbell River’s municipal byelection

You can cast your ballot today at the Sportsplex until 8 p.m.

With the full build-out of its 477 Hilchey Road development almost complete, Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North is setting its sights on its next batch of housing: right next door. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Habitat for Humanity looks to start a third Hilchey Road project

With the current site on Hilchey Road in the final stage of… Continue reading

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The humanoid sensing robot has a 3D printed finger cap that measures oxygen levels. (Dr. Woo Soo Kim)
Medical care robots being made with 3D origami in B.C. lab

Would you let a robot take your temperature?

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent must come first and last for B.C. industrial projects

UN declaration seen as end to a history of horror stories

FILE  - In this Friday, Jan 1, 2021 file photo, a lorry driver's documents are scanned on a phone as he passes a checkpoint for the train through the Eurotunnel link with Europe in Folkestone, England. One month after Britain made a New Year split from the European Union's economic embrace, businesses that once traded freely are getting used to frustrating checks, delays and red tape. Meat exporters say shipments have rotted in trucks awaiting European health checks. Scottish fishermen have protested at Parliament over the catch they can no longer sell to the continent because of byzantine new paperwork. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
FINLAYSON: Government should focus on strengthening B.C.’s leading export industries

To revive the economy, this piece in the strategy is integral, writes Jock Finlayson

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

Most Read