From Cecilia Segawa Seigle (9/18/15):
Yesterday morning's Asahi Shinbun reports that some Japanese words (or argot in certain cases) seem to be changing (reversing) meanings.
For example "yabai" (やばい), originally an argot used by criminals (thieves) meaning "not good" or "not propitious," seems to have changed its meaning among teenagers. 90% of the teens use the word "yabai" to express "wonderful," "good," "delicious," "smart-looking." Only 5% of the people above 70 years of age used "yabai" for positive meaning; in other words the older people still use the word for negative situations.
For the word "Omomuroni" (おもむろに), an adverb meaning "unhurriedly," "slowly," 44.5% answered with the traditional meaning "slowly." 40.8% answered that "omomuroni" meant "suddenly."
This is only a small part of the phenomena revealing the breakdown of the Japanese language according to the recent survey made by Bunkacho (文化庁), Japanese government's Agency for Cultural Affairs.
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