when americans started taking the word way too fucking seriously. It's not a cool thing by nay stretch of the imagination, but it's hardly as terrible as american fans make it out to be.
the VAST majority of this board easily falls under the otaku label. most people seem to think that otaku=hikikomori, which isn't quite true. many hikikomori are otaku of some sort, but many otaku manage to hold down a job of some sort or go to school.
anime nerds getting butthurt over the word otaku is as bad as new anime nerds saying the damned word every 5 fucking minutes.