English language

Why I’m Learning Korean Again



For Whom The Whom Whoms (One Way Learning Korean Improved My English)

This word, whom, it isn’t the easiest word to throw around, and I’m willing to bet about 99% of English speakers would prefer to just say who rather than risk looking like a dumbass. Even the dictionary thinks you should lay off before attempting to tackle this beast: “Although there are some speakers who still use who and whom according to the rules of formal grammar as stated here, there are many more who rarely use whom at all; its use has retreated steadily and is now largely restricted to formal contexts.” One of my best teachers in high school told me that you can tell if whom is the right word to use if you can replace it with him—to whom are you speaking? to him are you speaking? are you speaking to him?—because both whom and him “forms the objective case”; in other words, he is the subject, him is the object, as in, he is screwing himself. The subject screws the object.

The Troubling English Obsession in South Korea: How Foreign ESL Teachers Can Be Part of the Solution

As of 2013, there are thought to be nearly 20,000 first-language English speakers working for public schools and privately owned language programs (hagwons) in South Korea.  Korean parents regularly shell out as much as a third of their household income to get their children in an after school program with these foreign instructors.  As a result, hagwon profits have soared, surpassing US$7 billion in 2009.

This Wave Probably Won’t Crash American Shores

Here’s the latest effort from Girls’ Generation (all English version):

LG and Samsung Go West (to India)

Dear Financial Times, “Shhhh”. Sincerely, LG and Samsung Electronics

My Favorite TV Show: Fringe


영어 Through Entertainment #7: The Jedi Mind Trick

A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away…
Star Wars (1977) is the most famous science fiction movie of all time. The brainchild of George Lucas, Star Wars still, incredibly, lives via cartoons, books, and movies. The original Star Wars is actually called Star Wars IV: A New Hope. While other movies have grossed more at the box office, George Lucas created an entire industry which began with Star Wars, including the creation of companies vital to film-making.

Star Wars Created the Phrase “Jedi mind trick”
There are many famous scenes in Star Wars, and one of them is here, which is the first time that we see evidence of the “Jedi mind trick.”

영어 Hint of the Day #35: "Plan" vs. "Scheme" (미국영어 vs 영국영어)

The words “plan” and “scheme” are similar.  Kinda.
The word plan isn’t difficult to understand when it means to prepare or a preparation.  It can both be a noun or a verb, and translates most simply to 준비 in Korean.  In Korean also, 준비 is the root of either a noun or a verb.  In English and in Korean, the word is basic and simple.

“Scheme” Has A Slightly Different Meaning in British English
When someone has a specific plan to save money in a fund, or a bank, with a plan to withdraw that money at a later date, that is frequently called a scheme. A scheme would, in that case would be very similar to the word plan. The British would not consider it to be anything which may be illegal or one party taking advantage of another.

영어 Slang of the Day #18: "Speak for yourself," I think otherwise. What?

You can say "Speak for yourself" when you have a different opinion
Sometimes, another person states an opinion, and you do not agree.  When that occurs, you can use the phrase, "Speak for yourself."  My guess is that the full sentence would be, "You are speaking for yourself only."  It means that you are telling someone that the opinion that he stated is his, and not yours.  It is, in a way, a relatively neutral way of saying that you think/feel differently.

A.  Everyone knows that actors on Boys Over Flowers are all cute.
B.  Speak for yourself.  I think they all look too feminine, even though they are male.

A.  Jazz music is the most soothing for the soul.
B.  Speak for yourself.  I think that the Wonder Girls have the most meaningful songs. (?!?)


영어 Hint of the Day #34: "To be honest with you..." the word "Candidly" is better

"To be honest with you..." is a frequently used phrase
Admittedly, this has always been a strange phrase.  It is quite common.  When you are talking about a topic in which there may be a difference in opinion, or when the facts may be unknown, then people frequently use the phrase "to be honest with you."

A.  To be honest with you, I think that black doesn't look good on you.
B.  To be honest with you, I think that the KARA is better than SNSD.

Actually, I try to avoid this phrase.  Why?  The reason that I do not use this phrase is because then there may still be doubts about my sincerity.  For example, if I said "To be honest with you, this option is best."  Well, does that mean that there was even the possibility that I would not have advised you of this option otherwise?  When someone else says this phrase, I wonder to myself, "Was he not being honest earlier?"

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