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Someone has said this in my manga.

まず!我らの使命は2つ!!

Does he actually say "two" or "に"? If the latter, why not use 二? I don't see 二つ as being any different.

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In the last sentence, you are using katakana ニ instead of kanji 二 probably by mistake. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 7 '11 at 2:49
    
@Tsuyoshi Ito: Yeah. It's hard to tell when typing. I meant the kanji. –  AlbeyAmakiir Nov 7 '11 at 3:34
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Please try to correct a typo by yourself next time. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 11 '11 at 18:46
    
@Tsuyoshi Ito: I would have, but they look almost exactly the same (and would be totally indistinguishable when not close to each other, or when written by hand), so I didn't even consider the possibility that it mattered. Does it really make any difference? –  AlbeyAmakiir Nov 13 '11 at 21:58
    
Yes, it makes difference for search. Also, isn’t it weird if someone writes English text confusing the lowercase “l” with the uppercase “I,” even if it is totally indistinguishable from the font? –  Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 13 '11 at 22:27

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

“2つ” is just another notation for “二つ,” and is read as ふたつ, although some people consider the notation “2つ” as incorrect.

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Does he actually say "two" or "に"?

As @Tsuyoshi said, 2つ is read ふたつ

If the latter, why not use 二? I don't see ニつ as being any different.

It's a manga, as you said, and it's very common to have a lot of crappy written Japanese in them (special readings, mix of English, neologisms…). You don't see 2つ being different from 二つ, but the author did. You'll have to ask him why he chose this "spelling".

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4  
Just to stand up for the author, it might have been changed by an editor. I have personally seen house style guides that specifically deprecated "二つ" in horizontal text, prescribing "2 つ" instead. Sometimes this stuff is carefully thought through... even if the results are aesthetically unpleasing to us. –  Matt Nov 7 '11 at 11:20
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@Matt: Yes, some people say we should use “2つ” in horizontal writing, other people say we should not use “2つ” just because we are using horizontal writing… endless battle! (And most people do not care.) –  Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 9 '11 at 14:43

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