I brushed up on the use of Japanese commas (読点) here, but I don't think it explained this usage I found on 知恵袋.

The sentence is this:


Why exactly is the OP using the comma like this? The rule of thumb for me in English is that if you pause when speaking, you should use a comma in writing. I've just carried that over to Japanese somewhat, but this sentence would sound very unnatural to my (non-native) ears if one where to pause after 忙しい. Is that just not the case? Is this a standard use of the 読点 or internet slang, or...?

  • I haven't seen this usage before either, but I assume the OP is using it to designate 忙しい as a "mention" rather than a "use", in the same way that we might use quotation marks in English as in What is an adjective that is an antonym of "busy"?. No idea if this is standard, though. – senshin Jan 15 '14 at 6:22
  • That does seem to be what he's doing, using it how we in English might use quotes, but I wanted to keep the question as open-ended as I could :) – silvermaple Jan 15 '14 at 7:07

Strictly speaking, I think it should be


but the person wrote it as


probably because s/he thought it wouldn't cause any confusion (and maybe because s/he was just being lazy; I might do that too when I want to save the trouble of typing the brackets :p). If it was like




might look a bit confusing and it might be a bit harder to realize how it's parsed at first glance. 

  • 4
    かぎ括弧を含めた各種括弧や句読点の使用法っていうのは、実は日本においては英語圏ほど厳しく学校で教えられていないのが現状だと思います。自己判断に任せているのが日本式で、規則として確立されているのが欧州言語圏式と言っても過言でないような気がします。 – l'électeur Jan 15 '14 at 9:31

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