6.15.2008

k-k-corea

You may have noticed the odd spelling. The inconsistent spelling. Corea? You mean Korea, right? Right.

The notion of using the English alphabet to write a word that doesn't come via the alphabet is a challenge, and one that linguists have and do argue ad infinitum. Remember Peking now Beijing?? The nation of my birth, was at one time known as "Korye," pronounced more like Go-ryuh, with a rolled "r."

The nation of my birth was at one time more commonly known as Corea, or a variant, like Coree, in French. However, during the Japanese forceful occupation, the story goes that the Imperialists deemed it inappropriate for its subject to precede them in international listings. So Korea we became. (J, K, L, ....)

In rejection of the Japanese subjugation and continued prejudice toward Coreans and Corea, I had decided to spell Corea with the "original" C. Then I realized that anyone trying to find me via the search word "Korea" wouldn't be able to find me. So what do I do? Stay with K? CK? KC? C?

Add to this confusion that I've had a different thought lately. The land of my birth, to which I still feel great compassion and affection, is now known throughout the world as Korea: despite the cruelties of Japanese kidnapping of girls and women to serve as sixual slaves, the involuntary medical experiments, the cultural and personal repressions.

I'm thinking that we can now say to all that: It doesn't matter what your intentions were. You intended it for harm, but it has turned out well for us. You are nothing to us now. We are now victorious as a successful country. . . now known as Korea.

What do you think?

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1 comment:

dcrmom said...

Oooh! I'd been wondering. Thanks for 'splaining.