Posted : 2012-02-07 17:09
Updated : 2012-02-07 17:09


Media must use correct English

Many local dailies and broadcasting stations create incorrect English words that are incomprehensible to native speakers. The wider use of Konglish pollutes the Korean alphabet and English.

It has become a rule for local broadcasters to describe a discussant in a talk show as a panel, not as a panelist. A panel is a committee of discussants at the debate.

Syndrome is another abused word. The media use the negative pathological term in describing the fever of fans for sports stars and celebrities. Syndrome is used only in describing the concurrence of symptoms such as Down’s syndrome and Parkinson’s syndrome. The expression is appropriate only in a negative connotation.

Transgender and transsexual are commonly misused in journalese. The former is the terminology which points to a male or a female behaving as a member of the opposite sex. The latter is a person who underwent a sex-change operation.

Korean-language dailies also love to synthesize two English words into one. They include saladents (salaried person and students), momdents (mother and students) and polifessors (politicians and professors). These fused-words do not appear in English dictionaries.

Fighting has become routine Konglish that even native speakers living in Korea love to use. This reflects the love of Koreans to regard everything they do as a fight for victory. “Fighting Korea” should be “Go, Korea.”

The media wrongly use mannerism for habitual behavior, golden time for prime time, old miss for spinster, goal ceremony for goal celebration, Dutch pay for Dutch treat and sign for autograph.

PD often refers to producers, not program directors. In sports broadcasting, announcers use such Konglish words as four balls for a walk, dead ball for pitched ball, home-in for reaching home and no mark chance for unmarked chance.

Koreans seem to have a tendency to think English words project an image of high value and luxuriousness. Nearly all of Korean golf courses changed their names to English ones. Many of them are Konglish or synthesized English words hard to understand for native speakers. Benest is a combination of best nest.

English homepages of government agencies, especially local autonomous bodies, are a hotbed of Konglish, grammatical errors. The government must centralize a system to filter out Konglish in official use as not all government agencies need to hire proficient English translators.

It is unavoidable for exporters to use English names because they need to sell goods abroad. Golf clubs falsely believe English names will jack up the already expensive membership prices.

Konglish reflects the creativeness of Koreans in coining English words that reflect the local situation and is not always unpleasant. Even when Konglish is in worldwide use it can ultimately enter English dictionaries.

Korean-language dailies should use Korean words in principle. In unavoidable cases, they must use the correct vocabulary. Readers believe all English words local dailies use are in the dictionaries. This is a myth. The Korean-language media needs consultants to filter out Konglish terms before they are printed or on air.
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