Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Konglish Pwnage

So I was just downstairs in chicken hof #2 watching a baseball game between the Lotte Giants and the Samsung Lions--Korean baseball teams generally take the name of the chaebol that owns them. At the moment, the Lions are winning, 4 - 1, but that's actually irrelevant to my post.

No, what caught my eye was the graphic that flashed on the screen everytime someone got a hit. It said PAWN, with two baseball bats forming the center peak of the W. Now, for a little background, PWN is a common slang term among today's yoot, meaning to dominate or humiliate an opponent. It is thought to have arisen from a typo of OWN, as in, "I owned you that time, man!" probably after an online computer game.

Someone, sometime, somewhere, gleefully mistyped their taunt of a fellow geek, and the irony of it all spread.

... but not quite as far as Korea, as it turns out. They seem to have missed the mispledding and have taken up the sound. Which is a different irony, since it's the first Konglish I've heard of that gets the pronunciation right--pwned it, you might say.

Still, I wonder what Koreans visiting the West think when they walk past a Pawn Shop--"I'm not going in there, they just like to taunt and humiliate people." Or knot.

1 comment:

Ben said...


Ben Click here. I will be in South Korea in the very near future. Please let me know how I can get in touch with you and if you would like to catch up.