Just that

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Just that

Post by Anny » Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:31 pm

There is another sentence I can't make head or tail of:"Having grown up reading about her mother's high-profile love affairs Chiara Mastroianni has tried to keep her private life just that" Does "just that" imply that Chiara didn't want to expose her private life to paparazzi or just the opposite?
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Just that

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:42 pm

It means that Chiara Mastroianni has tried to keep her private life private.

Another example:

Employer: "Today, I want you to concentrate on identifying new sales leads."
Employee: "Yes, we were already planning to do just that."
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Just that

Post by dalehileman » Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:45 pm

Of course Erik is correct, but I can understand Anny's confusion. Admittedly her “opposite” reading entails a possible contradiction. However, many times an apparently clear statement is subject to interpretation, depending on context, including prevailing attitudes. We can suppose, for example, that in Chiara’s time celebrated love affairs are highly desirable but that privacy is to be shunned; in which case, “just that” could refer back to “high profile"

Deputies located that truck about 3 p.m. in Lancaster and had a helicopter flying overhead but no patrol cars nearby when it crashed....--AP May 7

We know it was the truck that crashed because that's what the story is about. However, we can imagine a story describing a stolen truck that was abandoned in Lancaster. Before the deputies found it, the car thief ran from the scene, and although there were no other patrol cars nearby to chase him, the airborne patrol was able to follow him for a distance until the accident. Same sentence but now "it" means the helicopter
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Just that

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat May 07, 2005 11:49 pm

Yes, Dale, as your AP text demonstrates, the context is often decisive for how we must interpret a statement; but it is precisely because this is so that I disagree with your hypothesis about Chiara's wishes.

Anny's original question includes the statement that: "Having grown up reading about her mother's high-profile love affairs Chiara Mastroianni has tried to keep her private life just that."

You stated: "We can suppose, for example, that in Chiara’s time celebrated love affairs are highly desirable but that privacy is to be shunned; in which case, “just that” could refer back to “high profile"."

Now, this seems illogical to me; in Anny's question it is Chiara's mother's love affairs that are described as being high-profile, but the question refers to Chiara's private life, not Chiara's love affairs, which in my view makes your inference perverse.

Any other reading would require at least some indication that Chiara might approve of the public nature of her mother's affairs, e.g.: "Having grown up reading about her mother's celebrated high-profile love affairs Chiara Mastroianni has tried to keep her private life just that."

But even this interpretation is undermined by the presence of the word 'private'; if Chiara wants her life to be an open book, how can it reasonably be described as 'her private life'? It would surely have to be rephrased as 'her personal life'.
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Just that

Post by dalehileman » Sun May 08, 2005 5:41 pm

That's why her reading "...entails a possible contradiction"

I was merely trying to show how Anny's confusion is understandable
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