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Special Katakana Usage?

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What teachers and books tell you about Katakana is that it is generally used to write words that derive from foreign languages. Recently though, I came across a lot of cases where pure Japanese words were written with Katakana. E.g. a cover from Yui says "タイヨウのうた" instead of "太陽の歌". While I can understand that sometimes it is more casual to use Hiragana instead of Kanji, I cannot understand why Katakana is used here. Is it considered "cooler"?
 

Toritoribe

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FYI, wikipedia has an explanation about it. (And you would be able to find the same questions and answers also in this forum.)
Katakana are also used for emphasis, especially on signs, advertisements, and hoardings (i.e., billboards). For example, it is common to see ココ koko ("here"), ゴミ gomi ("trash"), or メガネ megane ("glasses"). Words the writer wishes to emphasize in a sentence are also sometimes written in katakana, mirroring the European usage of italics.
Katakana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
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Talking of メガネ, I see this word written in katakana quite a lot in ordinary prose, where there seems no reason for it. I think there may be other examples too, such as ローソク. Is there any explanation for these? Is it just tradition or something? ローソク may have difficult kanji, but this doesn't explain why it would be written in katakana and not hiragana. And メガネ doesn't even have very difficult kanji.
 

Toritoribe

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Something like "tradition" would be the best answer. I can't think of any reasonable reason why イス is common but ツクエ is not.
 
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Would you agree with the statement in the Wikipedia article that "It is very common to write words with difficult-to-read kanji in katakana", in particular the words "very common"?
 

Toritoribe

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Hmm, it can't be said that's "very common", or rahter hiragana would be more common for that purpose, imo.
 
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I think one problem with 眼鏡 is that there is also the possibility of it being read as がんきょう. To avoid any ambiguity, and perhaps to avoid any outdated (old-fashioned) nuances tainting the sentence, メガネ would be more common.

I don't agree with the comment in Wikipedia that suggests the kanji 癌 is hard to read, and therefore it is usually rendered into katakana or hiragana. The kanji 癌 isn't particularly hard to read or write, its just not included in the joyo kanji (although I think I read somewhere that it is used commonly enough that it ought to be added to the joyo kanji list). The components are easy enough, and the malady is common enough that I would be surprised if any adult found it a challenge to read or recall this kanji.

I also found an interesting discussion on 癌 vs. がん (or ガン) here:
がん・ガン・癌の違いについて - ひらがな、カタカナ、漢字の違い | はじめて医療保険
 
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