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Just in case

Posted by Smokey Stover on August 20, 2007

In Reply to: Just in case posted by Elaine on August 19, 2007

: Here's a phrase everyone throws around, but never researches - "just in case" I have my own theory, but maybe there's information on this.

I may be naive, but I don't know what research would be useful or necessary. "In case" is a common way of saying, "In the event that..." or "Should the situation be that...." One doesn't need the points of ellipsis, since "in case" by itself assumes an unspecified event that may happen. More often the event is specified. "I brought an umbrella in case of rain." "Just in case" adds very little except an extra syllable (which may be enough). In meaning, it could often be replaced by "only." "I brought an umbrella, to be used only in case of rain." "Just in case" is used, I believe, when it is a case or event thought to be unlikely, but possible. "Charlie will probably be cooperative, but I brought his mother along just in case." Here, read "just in case he's not."