Efficient Versus Accurate Communication

이다혜l승인2016.09.01l수정2016.09.02 14:17l348호 1면

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 Are you familiar with the term 'Dankookian'? It is an abbreviated form for a Dankook University student or simply someone with a connection to Dankook University. Su-buck(Starbucks) and Mac-nal(Mcdonald) are also terms used in modern times that are especially popular with teenagers and young adults in their 20s. Furthermore, people who do not understand these abbreviated slang-words are called as ‘Ahjae’, which essentially means middle-aged men. As such, the youth of today abbreviates almost every word that has more than three syllables and even some famous lines from popular films. In the past, these slang-words were used minimally, but have since evolved to a point where it is impossible to have a conversation without including the use of these terms in daily life.

 The root of this abbreviated form of language stems from the internet, where people used it as a more efficient mode of chatting online. However, it has now become a big part of our daily lives, and is used not only on the internet, but in ordinary conversation. In the past, words were shortened, but people these days often communicate using Korean consonants, like 'ㅇㄱㄹㅇ', which means it's real, as well.

 There are two reasons for the increased prevalence of abbreviated language. First of all, these shortened terms were used to develop a bond between those who used them. By using these abbreviated terms, like slang-words with friends, one would be proving their friendship by displaying a level of comfort and familiarity of language with one another. The predominate age groups that use abbreviated terms are teens and people in their 20s. Thus, people who are of a similar age can share a sense of harmony, heightening friendships through the use of slang that only their peers can understand.

 Secondly, the rapid rise in abbreviated slang arguably reflects the rushed mentality of our younger generation. Korean society is rapidly transitioning, with our youth seeing a lot of changes in the past years. To adapt to the changing characteristics of society, people's behaviors and habits have changed accordingly. In particular, 20s are continuously absorbed in their studies and other extracurricular activities because of the difficulties they have finding a job. Consequently, they do not have a lot of leisure time for hobbies. Thus, their busy life is always pressed for time and this has affected their mindset, as well as their behavior.

 However, a woman recently commented on a Korean TV show that she has experienced difficulties communicating with her friends due to the increased use of these abbreviated terms. As a result, some people have trouble holding virtual conversations with their friends via text messages or chats because of the use of terms that are often only understood by the senders.  People have to ask for clarification because they are often unaware of these rapidly evolving abbreviations. Often times, people who use the terms are frustrated when they are repeatedly asked to explain their meaning. Therefore, there are some people in their 20s that have antipathy towards these abbreviated terms.

 One characteristic of language is its ability to help people socialize together. Language is a promise that has been made that enables smooth communication to be possible, according to the needs of society. However, the excessive use of abbreviations has the possibility of promoting exclusive friendship, between a limited amount of users, which stands against the true purpose of language and communication.

 Would you select for an abbreviated term for secondary comfort? Or would you give up promptness in favor of a more accurate expression of opinions? Although abbreviated terms began from a desire for prompt communication, as some people ignore the original goals and use it to promote friendship between themselves, it has caused a sense of alienation amongst people that do not use them and could lead to an even bigger problem, which is the destruction of language. Thus, we must thrive to have the right balance and seek to use abbreviated terms under suitable circumstances.


이다혜  dankookherald@gmail.com
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