Tuesday, October 18, 2005

bad Konglish pun

Gnaw cot tin gnome.

Pronounce each English word in the above phrase with a good, "standard" American accent. Fast. Now repeat.

If you're a Korean speaker, you might hear something. And your girlfriend might wonder why you're staring at your monitor chanting, "A bastard like you. A bastard like you. A bastard like you."

I hope somebody uses the above as either a blog title or an email address.



corsair the rational pirate said...

Shouldn't "gnaw" be "no"?

"No" as in "you"?

Kevin Kim said...

The Korean word neo (the "너" of "너같은 놈") is pronounced somewhere between the sounds "naw" and "nuh," which is why I chose the word "gnaw" to represent it. The English word "no" is closer in pronunciation to the Sino-Korean noh, a sound representing a few different characters, including the "old" (as in "노인" or "노약자") and "labor" (as in "노동") and even "street" (as in "종로"). The English "no" is definitely not the Korean "너."

I suppose it could be argued that many Americans pronounce "no" as "naw," in which case "no" would be appropriate:

"Naw, man; I didn't gnaw it."

A bit far-fetched, but possible.