Beyond the grave

Now at Néojaponisme: Naui the Undying, a column so terrifying that I could not in good conscience post it in time for Hallowe'en. My spirit guide warned me that the resultant scare spiral could have had half the prefecture hiding under their futons. True story.

Naui 「ナウい」was [...] declared dead almost as soon as it was born, reviled as a desperate attempt to squeeze a few more youth dollars out of an already-uncool borrowed English lexeme (”now”). As a word in its own right, nau had already demonstrated a tenacity rivaling Madeline Usher’s, but naui was fated to surpass its progenitor in every respect. It became a lexicographic Cartaphilus ― cursed to wander the sentences of Japanese forever, scorned and reviled but never granted the peace of oblivion. Its unforgivable sin? To once have both been and meant "fashionable."

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Ah, now we know the source of your etymological wizardry. I have never managed to acquire an adequate etymological dictionary to fill the huge gap in my mere 30-volume dictionary shelf. But I never imagined there were such gems as "Cyclopedia of Messed-Up Heisei Words." I am jealous.


Yes, I've always considered it vital to stay current with the literature.

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