But there's useful, and then there's asinine. Recently I've been getting into the Twitter scene and following people who tweet in or about Japanese. There's one trend I've seen that has really annoyed me for some reason. People using "なう." Allow me to explain for a moment. "なう" is hiragana, the Japanese alphabet that is used to spell Japanese words. As opposed to katakana, which is used almost exclusively for foreign loan words, or sometimes to add emphasis to a Japanese word (a technique mostly seen in comics). The pronunciation of "なう" is the same as "now." For a while, when I saw this popping up, I was stumped. I thought to myself "Wow, that looks and sounds like 'now,' but it's in hiragana...so I must be missing something." But the answer eluded me, until I did a search and found out the truth. "なう" means "now." But why is it written in hiragana? Why?! Because it looks different? Cool? Because it confuses people who aren't in the know?
Have you encountered this phenomenon? Have you used なう? If you have any insights, please share! Help me move beyond my hatred!