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I often get text messages from people who use the twitter-derived slang 「なう」 to mean "now." As in 「電車なう」meaning "(I am on the) train now."

However, these mainly come from women, and one gay dude. Is that just a coincidence, or does using this term actually have some feminine/effeminate connotation, like appending わ for emphasis (e.g. 「疲れたわ〜」)?

  • I have never heard that the Twitter slang “なう” has any feminine (or effeminate) connotations. I am not a Twitter user, and people who are using Twitter are better qualified to answer the question. – Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 9 '11 at 3:09
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    @TsuyoshiIto - the usage is not limited to Twitter. OP is saying it may have originated in Twitter because of the character limit. Anyway, no, I don't believe it has effeminate connotations. Plenty of straight guys I know use it all the time. – istrasci Nov 9 '11 at 3:59
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    @istrasci: not a twitter user either, but I must admit I'm confused how なう would help with character limit... :-| Any way you look at it, 今 or いま is same length or shorter. – Dave Nov 9 '11 at 5:18
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    @istrasci: I see. I did not know that なう is used outside Twitter. (I do not live in Japan and I do not receive SMS messages in Japanese, which may explain my ignorance on this.) Anyway the main point of my previous comment stands: I am not very qualified to answer this question! :) – Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 9 '11 at 5:52
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    @Dave: Nor do I use Twitter (FB people use it just as much) and I share your confusion about the point of it. I personally think it's just a way they (whoever uses it) try to sound modern and maybe "international". I find it annoying, myself. – istrasci Nov 9 '11 at 15:21
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No. It does not have any feminine connotations.

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I would think that girls and gay men might be more likely to use it, because it is a bit of a cute/silly thing (being a sort of silly borrowing from English, for some reason written in hiragana rather than katakana).

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