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Chris -- 2011-03-08

#1 2011-08-11 01:16:43

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1802

just (') cause

A relative-in-law of my son’s lives in Ealing, one of the suburbs of London affected by the recent riots. She wrote in an e-mail about violence being perpetrated

for no reason other than just cause

Clearly she meant the violence was done for no reasonable reason at all, just for the hang of it, just for kicks, or, as I might say, just because. Did she mean, in fact, just ’cause ? Just cause , for me, means an acceptable reason (as defined by applicable law), so is an opposite of sorts to just (be)cause .

Poking around a bit I did not unearth clear cases of other sightings, though I did find any number of examples of just ’cause spelt without the apostrophe; e.g.:

Cause we are all people. For no other reason, just cause we do. Seems every does it.

Do some people read “just cause” in other contexts and take it to mean “for no good reason”?

*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)



#2 2011-08-11 14:06:24

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2200

Re: just (') cause

Nice find. What you have uncovered may be a DNA eggcorn. And not just any DNA eggcorn, but one from the group of substitutions that produce a meaning opposite to that of the substituted-for word. In the past we have seen “crest/cusp,” “spendthrift,” “fussy/fuzzy logic,” “strife/stride,” “eligible/illegible,” and a few others. In this case, I suppose, it would be a hidden DNA eggcorn (if hidden eggcorns are even eggcorns and if DNA eggcorns are even eggcorns).



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