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
    Commented Jan 15, 2014 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 :) Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 7:07

1 Answer 1


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
    – user4032
    Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 9:31

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