2

Source

eMarketer estimates 16 million Americans will book travel via mobile this year, up from just over 12 million in 2011.

Source

1,170 Likes! Up from just over 600 at the beginning of March, we are smokin' hot.

The above quotes have describe the remotely different rise in percentage in a certain figure - (12 to 16 and 600 to 1170). Though, the "just over" phrase is still being used in the second quote - almost a 100% increase in the amount of likes, definitely not "just over". So is "just over" more of a decorative term rather than a term with real meaning?

  • You're parsing that phrase in the wrong place - it should read like this: "(the number) is up (up from what?) from just over 12 million, etc." Conversely, a similar expression would be "Sales are down from just over 1 million" Does that make sense to you? – Kristina Lopez Nov 6 '13 at 22:29
4

In the given context, it actually has a very specific meaning:

We experienced an increase from [a number that is slightly larger than a particular round number] to [a larger number, round or exact].

The focus is on the starting number being slightly larger than a round number, not the increase. In the first example, the author means that they started with at least 12,000,001. In the second example, the writer wants to be clear that they started at more than 600. (Presumably the writer believes that Facebook likes are indicative of something or other.)

Apart from that, an alternate phrasing would be perfectly good:

We experienced an increase from approximately [round number] to [another round number].

However, this is slightly ambiguous in everyday English, since it could be taken as meaning that both numbers are approximate, and the second case you mentioned is very specific about the number of likes they ended up with.

All that being said, the usual disclaimers about the reliability of English usage on Facebook apply.

2

You should really parse this as two distinct elements:

Up from: the new measurement is an increase over the old measurement.

Just over: the following number is a slight understatement of the true value.

When you combine the two, you have a statement contrasting the current measure to a slightly understated previous measure.

In your second example, for instance, 1170 is the current measure. This is an increase from the previous measure, which may have been anywhere from 601 to 625 or so ("just over" is a subjective assessment).

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