Level up

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Fri Apr 19 05:48:54 UTC 2013

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_video_games, Space Invaders came from Japan in 1978, so there's potential for borrowing as far back as then. Either way doesn't preclude (re)coinage at MIT, of course.

To my ears, the expression will always sound like a Japanese person trying to use katakana in English.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

On Apr 18, 2013, at 10:43 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:

> The expression in the context "need X points to level up" has been
> around for a while. Can't say for certain, but MIT gamers have used it
> in the 1990s for sure. I'm too lazy to look for details right now, but
> the expression is not recent.
>     VS-)
> On 4/19/2013 1:15 AM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>> On two games, recently, I've run into "level up" when I move up a level. I've always considered that to be a Japanese expression (reberu appu), so this usage surprised me.
>> In Japanese, appu is in common use, such as CPU appu suru (get a better CPU for your computer) and boryuumu appu (< volume up, meaning more volume such as a bigger meal).
>> I wonder if this is a re-import from Japanese, borrowed from "English" found on Japanese video games.
>> It has the advantage of being pithy; if "level up" were not around, what would have been used? Level X!, or perhaps spelling it out....

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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