"Word of the moment - how to sound like a Japanese highschool girl"

First came ‘KY’ and now comes ‘JK’, ‘HK’ , ‘MK5’, ‘PK’, and ‘WH’.
Not abbreviations for chemical compounds but supposedly the new way to talk and message. ‘KY,’ of course, stands for ‘kuki yomenai,’ or ‘can’t read the atmosphere,’ a word now widely used by the young and sometimes by the old. There are also spin-offs which are catching on such as ‘MKY’ (maji kuki yomenai = really can’t read the atmosphere) and ‘AKY’ (aete kuki yomanai = deliberately not reading the atmosphere).

According to the media, ‘JK’ (joshi kousei = highschool girls), ‘HK’ (hanashi kawarukedo = I’m going to change the topic now), ‘MK5’ (maji kireru 5byou mae = 5 seconds before I get really angry), ‘WH’ (wadai henka = change of conversation) and the funniest of all, ‘PK’ (pantsu kuikomu = my pants are riding up) are all part of a new dictionary which will be published on February 7.

As in any language, popular words come and go with the times. Some words such as ‘cho’ (very) are such a part of the language now that even salarymen and the older generation use it. Other words which were once immensely popular, such as ‘cho-beri-ba’ (abbreviation of ‘Cho very bad’) and its counterpart ‘cho-bery-gu’ (‘Cho very good’) have long been forgotten.

It remains to be seen whether ‘PK’ and ‘MK5’ will last but ‘KY’ is definitely leading the race at the moment to stand as the most popular word of the moment.



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