Can you say 'tone deaf' in Japanese?

By Matt Miller

Another fun factoid from a letter to the FT this week:

The hot new word in Japan is KY. An abbreviation for kuuki-yomenai, it literally means "unable to read the air."

Very useful in explaining why, e.g., John Thain initially asked for a $10 million bonus even as he decorated his office lavishly with taxpayer funds. As the letter writer puts it, "he was astoundingly KY."

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2009/01/can-you-say-tone-deaf-in-japanese/246/