Sunday, January 08, 2006

Banking Industry Beset by Ridiculous Protests

Hot on the heels of a bank union assaulting management and threatening strikes over a name change,  apparently the new controversy sweeping Korea is the fact the new 5,000 won bill omits the "the" front of "Bank of Korea":

"If the bank has omitted ‘the' by mistake," read one online posting, "then it has not only wasted taxpayers' money, but caused our national shame."

"Wasted money???" "National shame"??? Sigh only in Korea could omiting the "the" be considered a "national shame" while Korea's Supreme Scientist Hwang's ethical transgressions were first excused as "a cultural misunderstanding"

In a claim most of us Expats can sympathize with, apparently folks online consider themselves English experts:

Why is they can grasp the possible repercousions of a dropped "the" yet think things like "Reds Go Together", "Cineport", and "Korean Language for a Good Job" escape them? And all three of those are only in the past week. Why no comments on slogans and titles such as "Bravo your life", "Humanism Through Digital", "36.5C Delivery Service" or "Korea Tomorrow and Global"? Don't you dare get me started on things like "Hi Seoul" or the even lamer "It's Daejeon".


At January 08, 2006 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminds me of those several guys around town (Seoul) who call themselves "English experts", and do nothing but troll through the local English-language newspapers looking for errors.

Every so often, once he has compiled a large enough list of errata, an expert will go to the newspaper (or ESL publisher or whatever) and threaten to reveal said publication's stunning incompetence.

Needless to say, dinner and a white envelope soon follow.

The stunning thing to me is that most of these errors are pretty minor. Sometimes it is even questionable whether they are errors. Whenever you are cranking out 10-20,000 words or so each day, errors are bound to creep in. Maybe there are more in English newspapers here than in Springfield USA, but I cannot recall seeing any grammar error so bad it required a payoff.

(Thinking errors, on the other hand...)

I assume the guy paying off the expert is telling the company he needs twice as much money to buy the silence, then pockets the difference.

Anyhow, point being, I'm always impressed at how randomly people will get concerned about things in Korea. Or maybe that's true everywhere.


At January 08, 2006 11:03 AM, Blogger Dram Man said...


Shhhh! Don't tell anybody. Thats my bag.

An interesting footnote on the branding article linked to above. ("Bravo your life..."). I actually disagree with most of what was written in that article. First, of course most of the slogans strike native English speakers as odd, they are written for Koreans with a hazy view of English. One of the first rules of copywriting (or any writing really) is to write to your audience.

Second, and perhaps more important, they are slogans. They are supposed to be creative, and attract attention. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. For example consider the current Burger King slogan "Wake up with the King" which included TV ads just as creepy as the slogan.


Post a Comment

<< Home