Monday, August 27, 2012

和製英語: High tension

I can't remember when I first heard this one, but I'm sure I must have been confused. In English, when we talk about "tension," it usually holds a more negative connotation (unless maybe you're talking about "sexual tension"). There's often a high degree of tension between two individuals who don't get along, for example, right?

In Japanese, "high tension" or 「ハイテンション」 has a positive meaning - to be excited or enthusiastic. I suppose this flows from the fact that when we talk about electricity, "high tension" means we're talking about a lot of energy.

An example from ALC:

(I strive to be bright and cheerful so as not to let my family worry.)

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