Over at the Log, a guest post by Nathan Hopson describes a really clever use of the Japanese language’s traditions of borrowings and abbreviations:
Reading and watching the news in Japanese, I quickly realized that the UN is something of an exception and that the media handle the alphabet soup of international organizations by giving the English acronym along with its Japanese translation the first time, and then simply using the English acronym thereafter. So the World Health Organization becomes WHO (世界保健機関), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is NATO (北大西洋条約機構). In conversation, many of these well-known bodies are simply referred to by their English acronyms; even the General Headquarters of the Allied Powers (連合国総司令部) is just called GHQ.
This phenomenon, which is a great example of the flexibility of the Japanese language, has recently been taken to an extreme by the Japanese musician and personality known as DAIGO, who is incidentally also the grandson of former Prime Minister Takeshita Noboru. His unique take on abbreviation is called “DAI語.” The pronunciation of this coinage is the same as his name; the last character means “language.” […]
In the first still, DAIGO is saying, “MM,” which has been helpfully glossed as マジムリ (maji muri). ムリ (or 無 理 in kanji) means something like, “No way!” and the マ ジ is an intensifier meaning “seriously.” In the second picture, he goes one step further: “SNSN” is glossed as shinsen (新 鮮; “fresh”). Below, “DGDG” is read as “Daigo no dai gosan” (DAIGOの 大誤算), or “DAIGO’s big miscalculation.”
There are more examples and background at the link; I’m sure there is no shortage of people decrying this as a mortal threat to the language (or to all that is decent and good), but I think it’s great. Have fun with language, that’s what it’s for! (Well, that and ordering breakfast.)