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[真]{ま}[逆]{ぎゃく} (not [真]{ま}[逆]{さか}, which is an interjection standardly used) is another 若者言葉, or an expression that is used mainly by young generation (with low education level) that makes me feel uncomfortable.

is a polarity notion; Something can be either the original (), or the opposite (). There is no intermediate values like "half-way opposite", hence no room for quantitative/qualitative notions like genuine () or fake/quasi () to come into play. I have no idea what meaning is adding to . How is 真逆 different from ? How would you justify the addition of to ?

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I always thought it was something similar to adding 真っ to 逆さま and 正 to 反対... the reading of まぎゃく sounds awkward to me though. –  Choko Mar 16 '12 at 18:20
Just another thought: does slang have to be justified? –  summea Mar 16 '12 at 21:04
An analogous argument to yours seems to deny the difference between 反対 and 正反対. In fact, I have been assuming that まぎゃく is a slang for 正反対 and so far it seems that this assumption has been good enough to understand the intent of the speaker. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Mar 16 '12 at 23:59
I agree with Chocolate and TsuyoshiIto that the same argument applies to 真っ逆さま and 正反対. And I actually do wonder the same thing with these examples, although it is true that I do not feel discomfort with these examples as I do with 真逆, and am wondering why I feel different. –  sawa Mar 17 '12 at 2:21
Perhaps you dislike it because (a) it is new, and associated with a sociolect you dislike, and/or (b) it is a (native) Japanese prefix attached to a Sino-Japanese morpheme, which is not unheard of but less common than other patterns. –  Matt Mar 17 '12 at 9:20

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

真逆 seems very similar to the expression "total opposite" in English.

I think we can take here to be an intensifier/emphasis rather than something that affects the meaning. It emphasizes that something is not just 少し違う, but in fact .

I'd even say that not even 真逆 requires you to be absolutely precise. Let's say someone wanted to head east (0°). West (180°) would be . If you saw them going in essentially entirely the wrong direction -- almost due west -- you might want to use 真逆 to emphasize how badly they're going wrong, even if their true course isn't exactly 180°.

It's an abuse of terminology, technically, but I think this is how the language is used.

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