Discussion:
just about
(too old to reply)
John Dunlop
2018-07-11 08:23:23 UTC
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Acknowledging the recency illusion, I'm not sure whether or not this is
a new or increasingly used usage, but in the last few years I've been
noticing more and more people saying things like "he just about held on"
to mean that he actually held on, not that he nearly held on. Have you
noticed that where you are?

--
John
Katy Jennison
2018-07-11 09:49:25 UTC
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On 11/07/2018 09:23, John Dunlop wrote:
> Acknowledging the recency illusion, I'm not sure whether or not this is
> a new or increasingly used usage, but in the last few years I've been
> noticing more and more people saying things like "he just about held on"
> to mean that he actually held on, not that he nearly held on. Have you
> noticed that where you are?
>

Are you saying that it used to mean that he didn't hold on? I don't
think I've ever come across it meaning that. IME it hasn't changed from
meaning 'he held on, but only just'.

Also IME it's normally used metaphorically, where his actually holding
on or not might be disputed, rather than for physical situations as in
'he almost [let go, or fell, or whatever] but he didn't'.

--
Katy Jennison
John Dunlop
2018-07-11 10:43:38 UTC
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Katy Jennison:

> On 11/07/2018 09:23, John Dunlop wrote:
>> Acknowledging the recency illusion, I'm not sure whether or not
>> this is a new or increasingly used usage, but in the last few years
>> I've been noticing more and more people saying things like "he just
>> about held on" to mean that he actually held on, not that he nearly
>> held on. Have you noticed that where you are?
>>
>
> Are you saying that it used to mean that he didn't hold on?

I think it still does mean that, usually.

> I don't think I've ever come across it meaning that. IME it hasn't
> changed from meaning 'he held on, but only just'.

For me "just about" means, as the OED defines it, "almost, very nearly".
So "he just about held on" means that he nearly held on, which implies
that he didn't.

> Also IME it's normally used metaphorically, where his actually
> holding on or not might be disputed, rather than for physical
> situations as in 'he almost [let go, or fell, or whatever] but he
> didn't'.

I hear it nearly every day from Ned Boulting, who commentates on the
Tour de France for ITV4. Consider a situation where a breakaway group
manages to hold off the peloton bearing down on them and cross the line
first. He might say that the breakaway "just about held on". To me that
implies that the breakaway failed and were caught.

--
John
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-07-11 11:07:57 UTC
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On Wednesday, 11 July 2018 11:43:41 UTC+1, John Dunlop wrote:
> Katy Jennison:
>
> > On 11/07/2018 09:23, John Dunlop wrote:
> >> Acknowledging the recency illusion, I'm not sure whether or not
> >> this is a new or increasingly used usage, but in the last few years
> >> I've been noticing more and more people saying things like "he just
> >> about held on" to mean that he actually held on, not that he nearly
> >> held on. Have you noticed that where you are?
> >>
> >
> > Are you saying that it used to mean that he didn't hold on?
>
> I think it still does mean that, usually.
>
> > I don't think I've ever come across it meaning that. IME it hasn't
> > changed from meaning 'he held on, but only just'.
>
> For me "just about" means, as the OED defines it, "almost, very nearly".
> So "he just about held on" means that he nearly held on, which implies
> that he didn't.

No, it doesn't. Nor did it ever! You're using completely the wrong
definition. It applies to measurements not achievements.

I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned close thing
I nearly held on -> I couldn't hold on at the last moment

>
> > Also IME it's normally used metaphorically, where his actually
> > holding on or not might be disputed, rather than for physical
> > situations as in 'he almost [let go, or fell, or whatever] but he
> > didn't'.
>
> I hear it nearly every day from Ned Boulting, who commentates on the
> Tour de France for ITV4. Consider a situation where a breakaway group
> manages to hold off the peloton bearing down on them and cross the line
> first. He might say that the breakaway "just about held on". To me that
> implies that the breakaway failed and were caught.
>

Ample evidence, surely, that you're wrong!
Peter T. Daniels
2018-07-11 12:44:37 UTC
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On Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 7:08:00 AM UTC-4, Madrigal Gurneyhalt wrote:
> On Wednesday, 11 July 2018 11:43:41 UTC+1, John Dunlop wrote:
> > Katy Jennison:

> > > On 11/07/2018 09:23, John Dunlop wrote:
> > >> Acknowledging the recency illusion, I'm not sure whether or not
> > >> this is a new or increasingly used usage, but in the last few years
> > >> I've been noticing more and more people saying things like "he just
> > >> about held on" to mean that he actually held on, not that he nearly
> > >> held on. Have you noticed that where you are?
> > > Are you saying that it used to mean that he didn't hold on?
> > I think it still does mean that, usually.
> > > I don't think I've ever come across it meaning that. IME it hasn't
> > > changed from meaning 'he held on, but only just'.
> > For me "just about" means, as the OED defines it, "almost, very nearly".
> > So "he just about held on" means that he nearly held on, which implies
> > that he didn't.
>
> No, it doesn't. Nor did it ever! You're using completely the wrong
> definition. It applies to measurements not achievements.
>
> I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned close thing
> I nearly held on -> I couldn't hold on at the last moment
>
> > > Also IME it's normally used metaphorically, where his actually
> > > holding on or not might be disputed, rather than for physical
> > > situations as in 'he almost [let go, or fell, or whatever] but he
> > > didn't'.
> > I hear it nearly every day from Ned Boulting, who commentates on the
> > Tour de France for ITV4. Consider a situation where a breakaway group
> > manages to hold off the peloton bearing down on them and cross the line
> > first. He might say that the breakaway "just about held on". To me that
> > implies that the breakaway failed and were caught.
>
> Ample evidence, surely, that you're wrong!

Next he'll be complaining about "near miss," claiming that it should mean
"hit."
John Varela
2018-07-11 20:36:08 UTC
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On Wed, 11 Jul 2018 11:07:57 UTC, Madrigal Gurneyhalt
<***@googlemail.com> wrote:

> On Wednesday, 11 July 2018 11:43:41 UTC+1, John Dunlop wrote:
> > Katy Jennison:
> >
> > > On 11/07/2018 09:23, John Dunlop wrote:
> > >> Acknowledging the recency illusion, I'm not sure whether or not
> > >> this is a new or increasingly used usage, but in the last few years
> > >> I've been noticing more and more people saying things like "he just
> > >> about held on" to mean that he actually held on, not that he nearly
> > >> held on. Have you noticed that where you are?
> > >>
> > >
> > > Are you saying that it used to mean that he didn't hold on?
> >
> > I think it still does mean that, usually.
> >
> > > I don't think I've ever come across it meaning that. IME it hasn't
> > > changed from meaning 'he held on, but only just'.
> >
> > For me "just about" means, as the OED defines it, "almost, very nearly".
> > So "he just about held on" means that he nearly held on, which implies
> > that he didn't.
>
> No, it doesn't. Nor did it ever! You're using completely the wrong
> definition. It applies to measurements not achievements.
>
> I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned close thing

That meaning applies to "I barely held on". "Just about" means
failure.

"I just about fell" would mean that you didn't fall, and maybe
that's what some of you are thinking of.

Would "He just about died" mean that he did or didn't die? If it
means he didn't die, then "He just about held on" would mean that he
didn't hold on.

> I nearly held on -> I couldn't hold on at the last moment

"Until the last moment". Otherwise, correct.

> >
> > > Also IME it's normally used metaphorically, where his actually
> > > holding on or not might be disputed, rather than for physical
> > > situations as in 'he almost [let go, or fell, or whatever] but he
> > > didn't'.
> >
> > I hear it nearly every day from Ned Boulting, who commentates on the
> > Tour de France for ITV4. Consider a situation where a breakaway group
> > manages to hold off the peloton bearing down on them and cross the line
> > first. He might say that the breakaway "just about held on". To me that
> > implies that the breakaway failed and were caught.
> >
>
> Ample evidence, surely, that you're wrong!
>


--
John Varela
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-07-11 20:53:09 UTC
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On Wednesday, 11 July 2018 21:36:11 UTC+1, John Varela wrote:
> On Wed, 11 Jul 2018 11:07:57 UTC, Madrigal Gurneyhalt
> <***@googlemail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Wednesday, 11 July 2018 11:43:41 UTC+1, John Dunlop wrote:
> > > Katy Jennison:
> > >
> > > > On 11/07/2018 09:23, John Dunlop wrote:
> > > >> Acknowledging the recency illusion, I'm not sure whether or not
> > > >> this is a new or increasingly used usage, but in the last few years
> > > >> I've been noticing more and more people saying things like "he just
> > > >> about held on" to mean that he actually held on, not that he nearly
> > > >> held on. Have you noticed that where you are?
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > > Are you saying that it used to mean that he didn't hold on?
> > >
> > > I think it still does mean that, usually.
> > >
> > > > I don't think I've ever come across it meaning that. IME it hasn't
> > > > changed from meaning 'he held on, but only just'.
> > >
> > > For me "just about" means, as the OED defines it, "almost, very nearly".
> > > So "he just about held on" means that he nearly held on, which implies
> > > that he didn't.
> >
> > No, it doesn't. Nor did it ever! You're using completely the wrong
> > definition. It applies to measurements not achievements.
> >
> > I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned close thing
>
> That meaning applies to "I barely held on". "Just about" means
> failure.
>

No, no, no, no, no, no, and a thousand times no!

England just lost. You really don't want to be pissing me off with
such utter bollocks!
Quinn C
2018-07-11 21:32:35 UTC
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* Madrigal Gurneyhalt:

> No, no, no, no, no, no, and a thousand times no!
>
> England just lost. You really don't want to be pissing me off with
> such utter bollocks!

I drank an English Dog's Breakfast tea to honor the occasion.

--
Some things are taken away from you, some you leave behind-and
some you carry with you, world without end.
-- Robert C. Wilson, Vortex (novel), p.31
John Varela
2018-07-12 21:48:50 UTC
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On Wed, 11 Jul 2018 20:53:09 UTC, Madrigal Gurneyhalt
<***@googlemail.com> wrote:

> On Wednesday, 11 July 2018 21:36:11 UTC+1, John Varela wrote:
> > On Wed, 11 Jul 2018 11:07:57 UTC, Madrigal Gurneyhalt
> > <***@googlemail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > On Wednesday, 11 July 2018 11:43:41 UTC+1, John Dunlop wrote:
> > > > Katy Jennison:
> > > >
> > > > > On 11/07/2018 09:23, John Dunlop wrote:
> > > > >> Acknowledging the recency illusion, I'm not sure whether or not
> > > > >> this is a new or increasingly used usage, but in the last few years
> > > > >> I've been noticing more and more people saying things like "he just
> > > > >> about held on" to mean that he actually held on, not that he nearly
> > > > >> held on. Have you noticed that where you are?
> > > > >>
> > > > >
> > > > > Are you saying that it used to mean that he didn't hold on?
> > > >
> > > > I think it still does mean that, usually.
> > > >
> > > > > I don't think I've ever come across it meaning that. IME it hasn't
> > > > > changed from meaning 'he held on, but only just'.
> > > >
> > > > For me "just about" means, as the OED defines it, "almost, very nearly".
> > > > So "he just about held on" means that he nearly held on, which implies
> > > > that he didn't.
> > >
> > > No, it doesn't. Nor did it ever! You're using completely the wrong
> > > definition. It applies to measurements not achievements.
> > >
> > > I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned close thing
> >
> > That meaning applies to "I barely held on". "Just about" means
> > failure.
> >
>
> No, no, no, no, no, no, and a thousand times no!
>
> England just lost. You really don't want to be pissing me off with
> such utter bollocks!

Well, they just about won, if that makes you feel better.

--
John Varela
Richard Tobin
2018-07-11 21:17:31 UTC
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In article <51W5y0sPNk52-pn2-***@localhost>,
John Varela <***@verizon.net> wrote:

>> I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned close thing
>
>That meaning applies to "I barely held on". "Just about" means
>failure.

No, "I just about held on" means I succeeded.

-- Richard
Jerry Friedman
2018-07-11 22:27:22 UTC
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On 7/11/18 3:17 PM, Richard Tobin wrote:
> In article <51W5y0sPNk52-pn2-***@localhost>,
> John Varela <***@verizon.net> wrote:
>
>>> I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned close thing
>>
>> That meaning applies to "I barely held on". "Just about" means
>> failure.
>
> No, "I just about held on" means I succeeded.

More on your side of the Pond, I think. Anyway, I've always understood
it the one John Varela does, and it was John Dunlop who noticed that it
often means what you, Madrigal, and Katy have said.

I said it might be because of the ambiguity of many examples, but now
I'm thinking understatement might be involved. I can imagine "Thanks,
but I think I can just about manage by myself, since I've been doing
this for twenty years.". "Almost" makes sense there, but the transition
to "just barely" is easy.

--
Jerry Friedman
John Dunlop
2018-07-12 07:12:57 UTC
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Richard Tobin:

> In article <51W5y0sPNk52-pn2-***@localhost>,
> John Varela <***@verizon.net> wrote:
>
>>> I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned close thing
>>
>>That meaning applies to "I barely held on". "Just about" means
>>failure.
>
> No, "I just about held on" means I succeeded.

In your English, I don't doubt. The point of my question was to find out
where that usage is used. (I think it's obvious now it's not recent.) I
didn't find much about it online, but there's a suggestion on these two
pages that it's found in Wales and (the south of?) England:

<https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/66816/divergence-in-meaning-of-just-about-between-uk-and-north-american-english>

or https://tinyurl.com/y73agckr

<https://www.reddit.com/r/etymology/comments/4pyh99/the_opposite_meanings_of_just_about_uk_vs_na/>

or https://tinyurl.com/y7czd7py

So far, not being certain where posters hail from, I don't think there's
been anything posted here that contradicts that suggestion.

--
John
Peter Moylan
2018-07-12 13:33:40 UTC
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On 12/07/18 17:12, John Dunlop wrote:
> Richard Tobin:
>
>> In article <51W5y0sPNk52-pn2-***@localhost>,
>> John Varela <***@verizon.net> wrote:
>>
>>>> I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned close thing
>>>
>>> That meaning applies to "I barely held on". "Just about" means failure.
>>
>> No, "I just about held on" means I succeeded.
>
> In your English, I don't doubt. The point of my question was to find out
> where that usage is used. (I think it's obvious now it's not recent.) I
> didn't find much about it online, but there's a suggestion on these two
> pages that it's found in Wales and (the south of?) England:

But not elsewhere, apparently. In Australia, certainly, "I just about
held on" means the same as "I almost held on".

--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-07-12 14:29:12 UTC
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On Thursday, 12 July 2018 14:33:45 UTC+1, Peter Moylan wrote:
> On 12/07/18 17:12, John Dunlop wrote:
> > Richard Tobin:
> >
> >> In article <51W5y0sPNk52-pn2-***@localhost>,
> >> John Varela <***@verizon.net> wrote:
> >>
> >>>> I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned close thing
> >>>
> >>> That meaning applies to "I barely held on". "Just about" means failure.
> >>
> >> No, "I just about held on" means I succeeded.
> >
> > In your English, I don't doubt. The point of my question was to find out
> > where that usage is used. (I think it's obvious now it's not recent.) I
> > didn't find much about it online, but there's a suggestion on these two
> > pages that it's found in Wales and (the south of?) England:
>
> But not elsewhere, apparently. In Australia, certainly, "I just about
> held on" means the same as "I almost held on".
>

Really?

"As soon as we rounded it i went as hard as i could & started my sprint.
I hit the front & just tried to hold on. I could see the shadows gaining
on me from behind, but just about held on.
Next race is tomorrow night. I'm not expecting a similar result."

Australian Cycling Forum
http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=70611

Chris Smalling volleyed home the winner in the 69th minute,
handing City a second straight defeat following their 3-0 UEFA
Champions League reverse at Liverpool on Thursday (AEST).
Raheem Sterling hit the post and David De Gea saved superbly
from Sergio Aguero in a frantic last five minutes, but United just
about held on.

SBS Australia
<https://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/remarkable-man-united-comeback-puts-city-s-title-celebrations-on-hold>

Two standout performers for VAS Hanoi were Vu Minh Hieu with a
master class in high fielding and Vu Duc Dat who always managed
to find space for scores in what was at times a fast breaking SIS
Gamuda defense. In a very close game, SIS Gamuda nearly took
away the spoils in the end but VAS Hanoi just about held on.

Hoganstand.com Australia
http://www.hoganstand.com/county/australia/article/index/269744
Jerry Friedman
2018-07-12 22:35:36 UTC
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On 7/12/18 8:29 AM, Madrigal Gurneyhalt wrote:
> On Thursday, 12 July 2018 14:33:45 UTC+1, Peter Moylan wrote:
...

>> But not elsewhere, apparently. In Australia, certainly, "I just about
>> held on" means the same as "I almost held on".
>>
>
> Really?

[two examples]

> Two standout performers for VAS Hanoi were Vu Minh Hieu with a
> master class in high fielding and Vu Duc Dat who always managed
> to find space for scores in what was at times a fast breaking SIS
> Gamuda defense. In a very close game, SIS Gamuda nearly took
> away the spoils in the end but VAS Hanoi just about held on.
>
> Hoganstand.com Australia
> http://www.hoganstand.com/county/australia/article/index/269744

I'm delighted to learn that Gaelic football is played in Vietnam.

--
Jerry Friedman
Jerry Friedman
2018-07-13 14:46:43 UTC
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On 7/12/18 8:29 AM, Madrigal Gurneyhalt wrote:
> On Thursday, 12 July 2018 14:33:45 UTC+1, Peter Moylan wrote:
>> On 12/07/18 17:12, John Dunlop wrote:
>>> Richard Tobin:
>>>
>>>> In article <51W5y0sPNk52-pn2-***@localhost>,
>>>> John Varela <***@verizon.net> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>> I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned close thing
>>>>>
>>>>> That meaning applies to "I barely held on". "Just about" means failure.
>>>>
>>>> No, "I just about held on" means I succeeded.
>>>
>>> In your English, I don't doubt. The point of my question was to find out
>>> where that usage is used. (I think it's obvious now it's not recent.) I
>>> didn't find much about it online, but there's a suggestion on these two
>>> pages that it's found in Wales and (the south of?) England:
>>
>> But not elsewhere, apparently. In Australia, certainly, "I just about
>> held on" means the same as "I almost held on".
>>
>
> Really?

Okay, I have nothing to do but grade homework, so I might as well check
these.

> "As soon as we rounded it i went as hard as i could & started my sprint.
> I hit the front & just tried to hold on. I could see the shadows gaining
> on me from behind, but just about held on.
> Next race is tomorrow night. I'm not expecting a similar result."
>
> Australian Cycling Forum
> http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=70611

That's by one tank1252. I searched for "tank1252 pom" and found

"I was a typical 'pom' before i came over here; shit scared of a house
spider & glad there's virtually no snakes in the uk."

http://www.starwarsforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3797&sid=a94c2f6ebe80014ff1f145fe1a318dfc&start=495

So yes, "just about" in that case meant "just barely", and was used in
Australia, but apparently by an immigrant from Britain.

> Chris Smalling volleyed home the winner in the 69th minute,
> handing City a second straight defeat following their 3-0 UEFA
> Champions League reverse at Liverpool on Thursday (AEST).
> Raheem Sterling hit the post and David De Gea saved superbly
> from Sergio Aguero in a frantic last five minutes, but United just
> about held on.
>
> SBS Australia
> <https://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/remarkable-man-united-comeback-puts-city-s-title-celebrations-on-hold>

The fine print at the end of that article says "Source: Omnisport".
Omnisport is part of the Perform Group, which has its headquarters in
"Feltham, TW13 7HE, UK". As the report is on an English soccer "derby",
I think there's a very strong chance that it's by a Brit.

> Two standout performers for VAS Hanoi were Vu Minh Hieu with a
> master class in high fielding and Vu Duc Dat who always managed
> to find space for scores in what was at times a fast breaking SIS
> Gamuda defense. In a very close game, SIS Gamuda nearly took
> away the spoils in the end but VAS Hanoi just about held on.
>
> Hoganstand.com Australia
> http://www.hoganstand.com/county/australia/article/index/269744

Hoganstand.com is a site about "all things GAA". That's why it's
divided by county, and Australia counts as a country, not a county (as
do USA and UK). I don't see any way to tell the nationality of the
author of that article, though Irish and Australian seem to be the two
main possibilities.

So though literally "just about" for "just barely" is used in Australia,
your evidence suggests (but doesn't prove) that it's not typical of
Australian English.

--
Jerry Friedman
Peter Moylan
2018-07-15 13:27:20 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On 14/07/18 00:46, Jerry Friedman wrote:
> On 7/12/18 8:29 AM, Madrigal Gurneyhalt wrote:
>> On Thursday, 12 July 2018 14:33:45 UTC+1, Peter Moylan wrote:
>>> On 12/07/18 17:12, John Dunlop wrote:
>>>> Richard Tobin:
>>>>
>>>>> In article <51W5y0sPNk52-pn2-***@localhost>, John
>>>>> Varela <***@verizon.net> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>>> I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned
>>>>>>> close thing
>>>>>>
>>>>>> That meaning applies to "I barely held on". "Just about"
>>>>>> means failure.
>>>>>
>>>>> No, "I just about held on" means I succeeded.
>>>>
>>>> In your English, I don't doubt. The point of my question was
>>>> to find out where that usage is used. (I think it's obvious
>>>> now it's not recent.) I didn't find much about it online, but
>>>> there's a suggestion on these two pages that it's found in
>>>> Wales and (the south of?) England:
>>>
>>> But not elsewhere, apparently. In Australia, certainly, "I just
>>> about held on" means the same as "I almost held on".
>>
>> Really?
>
> Okay, I have nothing to do but grade homework, so I might as well
> check these.
>
>> "As soon as we rounded it i went as hard as i could & started my
>> sprint. I hit the front & just tried to hold on. I could see the
>> shadows gaining on me from behind, but just about held on. Next
>> race is tomorrow night. I'm not expecting a similar result."
>>
>> Australian Cycling Forum
>> http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=70611
>
> That's by one tank1252. I searched for "tank1252 pom" and found
>
> "I was a typical 'pom' before i came over here; shit scared of a
> house spider & glad there's virtually no snakes in the uk."
>
> http://www.starwarsforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3797&sid=a94c2f6ebe80014ff1f145fe1a318dfc&start=495
>
> So yes, "just about" in that case meant "just barely", and was used
> in Australia, but apparently by an immigrant from Britain.
>
>> Chris Smalling volleyed home the winner in the 69th minute,
>> handing City a second straight defeat following their 3-0 UEFA
>> Champions League reverse at Liverpool on Thursday (AEST). Raheem
>> Sterling hit the post and David De Gea saved superbly from Sergio
>> Aguero in a frantic last five minutes, but United just about held
>> on.
>>
>> SBS Australia
>> <https://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/remarkable-man-united-comeback-puts-city-s-title-celebrations-on-hold>
>
>>
> The fine print at the end of that article says "Source: Omnisport".
> Omnisport is part of the Perform Group, which has its headquarters
> in "Feltham, TW13 7HE, UK". As the report is on an English soccer
> "derby", I think there's a very strong chance that it's by a Brit.

Thanks, Jerry. I was tempted to do the same check, especially given that
"SBS Australia" is our foreign-language network whose charter biases it
towards non-Australian sources[1], but I didn't have the patience.

[1] Including UK, which is foreign according to the fine print. As it
happens, SBS has a strong soccer bias (see "theworldgame" in its URL),
so it can hardly avoid covering the UK, even if it only sometimes
provides subtitles for UK broadcasts.

It seems fairly clear that those "Australian" sources are not Australian
at all.

--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Jerry Friedman
2018-07-11 21:51:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On 7/11/18 5:07 AM, Madrigal Gurneyhalt wrote:
> On Wednesday, 11 July 2018 11:43:41 UTC+1, John Dunlop wrote:
>> Katy Jennison:
>>
>>> On 11/07/2018 09:23, John Dunlop wrote:
>>>> Acknowledging the recency illusion, I'm not sure whether or not
>>>> this is a new or increasingly used usage, but in the last few years
>>>> I've been noticing more and more people saying things like "he just
>>>> about held on" to mean that he actually held on, not that he nearly
>>>> held on. Have you noticed that where you are?
>>>>
>>>
>>> Are you saying that it used to mean that he didn't hold on?
>>
>> I think it still does mean that, usually.
>>
>>> I don't think I've ever come across it meaning that. IME it hasn't
>>> changed from meaning 'he held on, but only just'.
>>
>> For me "just about" means, as the OED defines it, "almost, very nearly".
>> So "he just about held on" means that he nearly held on, which implies
>> that he didn't.
>
> No, it doesn't. Nor did it ever!

Maybe once in a while. I found it remarkable how ambiguous most of the
examples I saw at the British National Corpus were. (I presume that's
how the meaning shifted from "nearly", which must be the original, to
the frequent British one of "barely".)

This one seems to be an "almost".

"Cognos has just about sorted out one of the big problems software
companies with a proprietary platform background face when getting into
Unix: pricing.' We've modelled 500 of our customers, and within 12
months all pricing will be by per-user, as the Unix products already
are,' adds Zambonini. Much of this direction was outlined at the
company's first international user group meeting, Cognition' 91, in Los
Angeles last June, which explains the low-key reaction of journalists
and analysts to the roadshow."

The title is Unigram x. (I included the last sentence because the only
date given was 1985-1994.)

Here's another clear one. To minimize the salt in the wounds, I'll say
from the start that it's about rugby.

"I can't see anyone stopping England. France will just about be able to
hold them in the line-out if Roumat plays, but the so-called hard men in
the pack don't look that tough to me. England -- even in Paris -- should
win that one, which will leave Wales at Twickenham between them and the
Grand Slam."

Rugby World and Post. Reading: Rugby Pub, 1991, pp. ??

This one isn't really about an achievement, but I'm mentioning it
because it looks like an "actually".

(SP:KPVPS000) And he built up a whole business just by picking famous
names and saying, look I think your design is really outdated and it's
not doing your image any good. How about this?

(SP:KPVPSUNK) Mm.

(SP:PS586) I couldn't believe that he just about had the audacity to
phone this guy up.

13 convs rec. by 'Rebecca' (PS586) between 15 and 19 Oct 1993 with 9
i's, 6179 utts, and over 5 hrs 15 mins 27 secs of recs.

(Does it matter who rec. them? It seems more important to know who
tran. them.)

> You're using completely the wrong
> definition. It applies to measurements not achievements.
>
> I just about held on -> I held on but it was a darned close thing
> I nearly held on -> I couldn't hold on at the last moment
...

Certainly sometimes.

In a different dialect of English, I had much less trouble finding an
"almost".

"'You know, you just about had me convinced. There was just one thing.'

"'What?' he says in dull reflex.

"'I called up some fellows over at NASA. And there was a problem with
your story.'"

C. W. Johnson, "Political Science", Analog (2007)

--
Jerry Friedman
Kerr-Mudd,John
2018-07-11 10:07:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Wed, 11 Jul 2018 08:23:23 GMT, John Dunlop <***@ymail.com>
wrote:

> Acknowledging the recency illusion, I'm not sure whether or not this is
> a new or increasingly used usage, but in the last few years I've been
> noticing more and more people saying things like "he just about held on"
> to mean that he actually held on, not that he nearly held on. Have you
> noticed that where you are?
>

Just about.


(You set it up so nicely)

--
Bah, and indeed, Humbug.
Mack A. Damia
2018-07-11 21:19:52 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:23:23 +0100, John Dunlop
<***@ymail.com> wrote:

>Acknowledging the recency illusion, I'm not sure whether or not this is
>a new or increasingly used usage, but in the last few years I've been
>noticing more and more people saying things like "he just about held on"
>to mean that he actually held on, not that he nearly held on. Have you
>noticed that where you are?

You have reminded me of one of my favorite songs.

"Just about a year ago....."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yA7iGxV6rt4

"Things got bad; things got worse,
I guess you know the tune,
Oh lord, I'm stuck in AUE again!"
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