The ''-tan suffix'' is a mispronunciation … The ''-tan suffix'' is a mispronunciation of the suffix "-chan", a diminutive suffix that expresses endearment.
Lots of things have mascots. Sports teams, companies, countries, all sorts of things. People come to identify these mascots with their team, and often the team with the mascot, giving the group with the mascot something to represent themselves with that people like, and they're relatively easy to market too. These mascots fit the group - the Brisbane lions have a lion, some American team has whatever they have, and America has the bald eagle. It all symbolizes something about the group to make it appropriate when people start to really think of the mascot as the symbol of the group.'''
'''[[Moe]] anthropomorphism''' how ever, takes things one step further and six steps sideways.
A ''Moe anthropomorphism'' isn't meant to just be the symbol of the group or product, it is the group or product given life. Always anime style, and almost always female, a Moe anthropomorphism is an anime character that's taken on aspects and traits of the website (it's almost always a website) in question to make it seem like the website in human form. These things are almost always named (website)-tan, because the '''-tan suffix''' means something like this in Japanese. So a Moe anthropomorphism for OhInternet would be OhInternet-tan (OhI-Tan for short), for example, and she'd probably be covered in black and white and would be more mature and classy compared to her former [[Ae-tan|ED persona]].
Famous -tan's often get into their own adventures drawn by fans/members of the thing/website, and even get [[Cosplay]]. We're totally serious.
[[File:Os-tan.jpg|thumb|OS-tans also make great [[waifu]]s.]]
OS-tan are the moe anthropomorphisms of various computer operating systems, and sometimes their programs. Originating back in Japan, this one is by far the most famous and successful example of -tan's there is, at least out of the ones that originate from the internet. Starting back at Futaba channel (which isn't actually [[2chan]]) this began when users complaining about Windows ME point out how it's personality was like that of teenage girl with [[USI]]. Artists on the site jumped at this opportunity and drew up Windows ME-tan, with other OSes following suit. That picture up there of the OS-tan's is by no means all of them. There's Norton Antivirus-tan, Linux-tan, it's just nuts.
OS-tan got big enough that it had [[Anime|manga]] published of it, including "Trouble Windows in the USA" and and Ubuntu centric one for an Ubuntu magazine. Google holds more info. If that's not enough, the Windows 7 japan release saw Windows 7-tan being commercially regonized and included as a desktop and theme for a limited edition windows 7 packs, and just a desktop for others.
[[Image:Moe~.jpg|thumb|215px|It's not like this.]]
Afghanis-tan is a one shot manga that ran from October 2003 to February 2005 about a small girl named Afghanis-tan who stars in her own manga series which shows the history of the Middle East if it were acted out by small children (mostly little girls) and cats. Afghanis-tan is a short and clumsy girl, often being bullied by the other countries (girls)
It was actually commercially sold and reasonably successful, and relatively without controversy, surprisingly.
The most successful out of all of these, Hetalia started as a gag manga and grew into an anime where the English dub is better. It's about world history, where every country has a -tan, although they don't call each other country-tan. Think if WWII was a comedy anime. There you go.
The main character is Italy, who was absolutely useless in world war II. Hetare is japanese for useless. Hetalia. Get it? Probably not. or useless. Hetalia. Get it? Probably not.