Chungmuro/Film News
Bandage criticized for improper title, ignores demands for change
by | December 23, 2012 | 66 Comments

javabeans: Wow, I didn’t think the day would come when I would find myself on the side opposite the grammar police, but turns out, when the grammar police gets to a certain point of pettiness you just have to let common sense rule.

girlfriday: But! You’re MY grammar police!

javabeans: I know. This is enough to throw me into personal crisis. What I’m referring to more specifically is how the Korean Language Society had recently kicked up a fuss demanding Nice Guy change its title (from cha-kan to chak-han) and is now back to pout that the movie Bandage is also spelled wrong. While I agree that misspelling stuff just to Lookz Koolz is dumb, forcing a drama to change its title is a little whiny.

girlfriday: It’s definitely one of those things where the producers look silly for misspelling something in the first place, but the nerdy rule-toting guy who complains about it actually looks even sillier.

javabeans: Right? It’s a lesson in picking your battles. If you rail against every “alright” (shudder) or “ur” (sigh) or “totes” (spews hatefire), you become part of that buzzy white noise that just annoys people, and your message gets lost. You have to pick a stance that lets you live with yourself, but also isn’t needlessly pedantic. Say, for instance, insisting on spelling it correctly yourself, and just rolling with it when someone else doesn’t. Even if a part of you dies a little inside every time.

girlfriday: And it turns out, even though I hated how Nice Guy was originally spelled, there WAS a narrative reason why, and when the drama got to that place, I ended up disappointed that they caved and changed their spelling.

javabeans: I know! Dude, if you’re going to make a point of doing it the wrong way, then at least stick to that artistic choice! Don’t make the annoying choice and then change it, because that smacks of, “Eh, our Big Pretentious Gesture wasn’t significant after all.”

girlfriday: And what significance there was, was negated by the fact that you caved to the grammar police, so then you’re only left with an empty pretentious gesture.

javabeans: And since Bandage is a movie that’s already out, the Hangul police can’t demand a change retroactively, so now they’re demanding a caption be added to tell people that yes, the title is spelled wrong, we acknowledge our deliberate mistake.

girlfriday: Er, you mean the movie will now be titled: Bandage, *misspelled on purpose?

javabeans: If you’re gonna be forced to add a caveat, they should go whole hog and be: “Bandage, *misspelling noted at the behest of the Grammar Police, who so underestimate the intelligence of You, the moviegoing public, that they assume you wouldn’t know the difference and must be protected from our grammatical villainy.”

girlfriday: Totes.

javabeans: *dies a little inside*

Via Yonhap News


66 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. langdon813

    “If you rail against every “alright” (shudder) or “ur” (sigh) or “totes” (spews hatefire)…”

    I love you.

    • 1.1 Dominique

      But who’s railing against “alright” or “ur” or “tote”? Certainly not the Society of Korean Language. And certainly not against abbreviations or colloquial expressions popular in text messages or slangs. Nor is the Society of Korean Language too dumb to distinguish artistic license from illiteracy or ignorance or sloppiness.

      In Episode 1 of Cheongdamdong Alice, in the office of Jean Thierry Cha, we briefly see his nameplate on his desk spell his first name as “Jane.” Luckily, someone on the production team must have noticed it becasue, in the next episode, the mistake is corrected.

      The Society’s beef with “Bandage” seems more like what’s behind “Jane” rather than “Cha Ggan” or “alright.”

      During my stay in South Korea this summer, I noticed that KBS inserted (and then repeated without correction) numerous misspelled words in its news program everyday. If this is not shocking, I also heard or read on TV an occasional sentence totally lacking syntax so that it was virtually impossible to understand it. And this is the work permitted to be shown on national networks of South Korea.

      Why does everyone ridicule the Society of Korean Language and its efforts? France, a nation that Korean dramas seem to worship and cannot get enough of, has its Societe de la Francaise that is far more discerning and not at all shy to go after even the smallest, most innocent mistake in public speech or expression. Could Korea worship the Societe’s love of its language rather than luxury handbags? I believe that is what the Society of Korean Language is trying to do.

      • 1.1.1 houstontwin

        I don’t understand, does the Society for the Korean Language have regulatory powers?

  2. myweithisway

    Oh Korea and your societies, are you trying to be funny?

    • 2.1 Jo

      uh…there are probably a million more “societies” in America. Hey, remember the “The Rent is Too Damn High” party? Yea. That happened America.
      Ridiculous stuff happens everywhere in the world.

      • 2.1.1 crazykel

        In the U.S., there are certainly societies to make English an official language, but most of these are considered fringe societies based on bigotry and xenophobia more than logical reasons to make the language official.

        Historically, though, the U.S. did have societies based on language and language regulation. That is why Americans do not spell certain words in the same way as the English do. However, many tries to create a prescriptivist society based on limiting the English language have failed, and this is mostly due to popular opinion.

        I am in the middle on the issue of societies of language. I do think that they can be beneficial in defining how words are formed in their respective languages and they can help determine a basis for grammar. Do I think that they should have supreme power in determining how everyone uses language? No. To me, that’s an elitist way to demean others’ language usage.

        • skelly

          Er, no, it wasn’t a society or committee that set Americanized spelling and language, but rather the pioneering efforts of one man, Noah Webster. It was his idea to refute and replace the textbooks and curricula imported from England with American texts, and he was the one who created the first American textbooks, curriculum, and dictionary starting in the 1780’s.
          Those were the good old days when one person with a vision could make a difference, without having to drown in a committee first.
          Societies be d*mned; French is stale and is disappearing from the world stage because it is fettered and restricted by the Society’s rules – the language that survives and thrives is the one that is elastic and expansive enough to meet the changing needs of its speakers. Of course, you need to have standards for spelling and grammar, but these need to be flexible and changeable.

  3. Mystisith

    So… Wrong battle, lost battle and arrived after the battle anyway? Obviously I’m not a specialist of hangul but it sounds like a storm in a teacup. *Proposes a toast to all the Don Quixote of the world.*

    • 3.1 maon

      None of this would be a problem if hanja were still used. You can’t misspell “絆瘡膏” nearly as easily as you can misspell “반창고”.

  4. Fab

    So bandage is misspelled as bandage. Got it! But man, it’s a movie, grammar police. Gosh how many Hollywood movies have bad spelled titles? But I guess they are a little more uptight about their language in the Far East.

    • 4.1 Annie

      If Koreans weren’t so protective of their heritage, it would have been lost a long time ago.

      I’m not saying I agree with picking fights over movie/drama grammar but such causes aren’t inherently insignificant.

      • 4.1.1 Fab

        That’s true! I feel the same way about protecting you (rich)heritage, my native language is being neglected by a lot of folks who are leaning more to the western languages; it’s a shame.

    • 4.2 pogo

      well, considering that for a part of their history they weren’t allowed to use their language at all, I don’t blame them for being defensive about it in general….even if this particular instance is a bit silly.

  5. Fab

    This actually reminds me that I should keep looking for subtitles for this movie…

    You know what really bugs me, grammar cops? Terribly bad grammar in subtitles. But I am still happy that someone went through the trouble of translating an entire movie/drama. 😀

    • 5.1 ~Feather~

      If you find english subtitles, will you share a link? 🙂
      I really want to watch this movie!

      • 5.1.1 Laurita

        me toooo, when you find, please share it with us 🙂 Please 🙂

        • WM

          If I add another “please share” will that make us a mob?

      • 5.1.2 Fab

        But of course! Anything for my fellow kmovie/drama addicts. 😀

        BTW the English title is Love 911.

        • Eve's

          Could I pls be added to the bandwagon? for the movie link!? Pretties Plsss 🙂
          That sounded desperate….. lol

  6. 1

    huh…what’s the misspelling?

    • 6.1 adette

      In Korean, the word bandage is “반창고” but the film’s title is “반창꼬.”

      Is there a narrative purpose for the misspelling like there was in Nice Guy? Cos when it became clear in the drama why the misspelled ‘Nice Guy’ was significant, I got annoyed with the KLS. Do they think people are stupid and won’t know that it’s spelled wrong? I mean, ok, maybe some people won’t realize it… but honestly, in the US, most people realize “The Pursuit of Happyness” is misspelled. Why can’t they just let people take creative liberties >__< it's a movie title, not someone's dissertation. Geeeeeeze.

      • 6.1.1 latteholic

        A-HA! So Pursuit of Happyness is spelled wrong! That explains why I couldn’t find Pursuit of Happiness facebook page! 😀

        • adette

          hehe glad to be of service :p

      • 6.1.2 latteholic

        btw, thank you for your explanation. I wonder about that too. Was the spelling mistake done deliberately to serve a narrative purpose/look ‘kewl’ or was it a misspelling and the producer/whoever-in-charge-of-the-title just didn’t notice it before releasing the movie?

  7. whitethorns

    Hangul is probably the hardest language to learn. There are so many different ways to say and spell a single word and all of them are right??

    • 7.1 Betty

      Actually hangul is known to be one of the easiest language to learn and have won several prizes in that regard.

      • 7.1.1 Mystisith

        From what I’ve heard, hangul is easy to learn but the language itself is hard because of all the homonyms. Which, in return, allow all those awesome word games. 🙂

    • 7.2 Altari

      Actually the Korean alphabet is very easy to learn but the language itself is probably difficult for English speakers because the grammar is so different. On the other hand it’s probably easier for Japanese speakers to learn Korean than English because Japanese and Korean are similar.

    • 7.3 maon

      Hangul isn’t a language, it’s an alphabet. And no, there’s a fairly strong one-to-one correspondence between sounds and writing with hangul. Definitely much more so than with English.

    • 7.4 adette

      there might be different ways to spell something to give the same pronunciation, but they aren’t all right. (for example, in Nice Guy, the misspelling is pronounced exactly the same as the correct spelling, but they aren’t both ‘right.’ its like.. if i write “dissappointed,” people will know what i mean, and it certainly sounds the same, but it’s spelled wrong)

    • 7.5 anais

      “There are so many different ways to say and spell a single word and all of them are right??”

      That isn’t true. There are many homonyms, words that are said and spelled the same way. As such, one needs to be very attentive to context in order to catch the meaning. Even Koreans make mistakes sometimes.

    • 7.6 Lang

      Sorry to nitpick, but Hangul is not a language. It is the written script for the Korean Language. And if you’re were saying that hangul written script is hardest. I do not think it is hard at all, if anything hangul is very logical and makes a lot of sense .

      If you were talking about learning Korean, as being hard, or that Korean language is hard, than I would also say that it is relative, and it is not hard.

      Also, what do you mean by hard ? Do you mean the time it takes for a person from 0 korean to fluent korean ? (being able to speak at a conversational level in korean ).

      I believe , if anybody wanted, they can learn any language. It all comes down to what you want out of the language.

      Here are some resources for those interested in learning about learning language and the mentality you need from a whiner” ooo it’s so hard “, to a winner” I will become fluent”. Remember, language is inherit in all of us.

  8. MsB

    So the hangul is spelled incorrectly? You had me wondering there for a second!

  9. Carole McDonnell

    Good grief! The Hangul police reminds me of the French police. Seriously, how is a language to breathe and have fun if folks keep poking their grammar-license into every cap and title?

    • 9.1 Mystisith

      You tell me… 🙂
      Language is like DNA: It evolves because people use it differently, because new needs emerge. Sometime I agree with the “innovations” and sometime I find it’s silly or pure bad taste. Still, you can’t go against the flow. It’s people who shape the language.

      • 9.1.1 canxi

        True. I think the only thing that truly, TRULY gets under my skin is when people use “then” instead of “than”. JUST WHY? And how?? I do not understand the confusionnnnnn. D:

  10. 10 liza

    As trite as it may sounds I can see how cultural purists would take offense to a word being spelt incorrectly, after all Korean movies are seen worldwide. From what I have learned through watching dramas, there are many words or parts of words that can have various meanings, but apparently, a play on words wasn’t the excuse so it was either the person who okayed the poster did a sloppy job or the Co. who did the poster could not write the language properly.

    Also, what may seem to be SSSSSHHHHHHHHH in the US, can be of the utmost importance in a culture that is thousands of years old and where honor and saving face is king.

  11. 11 Lisa-Loo-Loo

    Okay, for the record can I just say that I would probably go see a movie titled: “Bandage, *misspelling noted at the behest of the Grammar Police, who so underestimate the intelligence of You, the movie-going public, that they assume you wouldn’t know the difference and must be protected from our grammatical villainy.”
    ‘Cause (yup, spelled wrong on purpose)…that would be AWESOME!

  12. 12 aX

    … meh!

  13. 13 Sabah

    On a side note, I love how all the screenshots from the film are stills of people looking sullen, pensive and a little bit fed up. I feel as though in those scenes they are asking themselves, ‘Really? Are people being serious?’

    I wanted to come up with a cool caption for the last picture BUT I am really bad a comedy.

  14. 14 queencircles

    I don’t know hangul, so I don’t understand how the original misspelling of nice guy was significant. 🙁

    • 14.1 jomo

      When EG was recovering from her memory loss/cognitive problems, she kept a notebook. In it, she wrote several misspelled Korean sentences, one of which about “a nice guy” became the title.

      Reminds me of the posters for the movie adaptation of “Flowers for Algernon” where “Charly” has a reversed R.

  15. 15 queencircles

    Oh cause the first one looks like chicken man?

  16. 16 Nallali

    I can relate, once upon a time i thought the past tense of ‘bend’ was ‘bended’ thanks to Boys 2 Men…just sayin!

    • 16.1 Robin

      Bended is the past tense of bend.

  17. 17 Bernadine Moore

    You know what you say to Grammar Nazi’s???? There, They’re, Their…. (I’m sure there must be a Korean Equivalent)

  18. 18 goldeng

    These ppl again??!! those hangul police and Mogef people must b related… I bet theyre “chakan namja” die hard fans and went to watch bandage… They should get a hobby…theyre reaaaaaally annoying… Hope their 5 minutes of fame end soon

  19. 19 sally_b

    RE: “totes” (spews hatefire)

    dang it. I hate when I don’t get an *in* joke.

    ~hangs head to the side and asks nerdily: “What is totes supposed to be?”….was thinking a handbag of sorts. (?)

    • 19.1 Mystisith

      You’re not the only one who didn’t get all the jokes at first reading: This is where gets handy. 🙂

      • 19.1.1 sally_b

        Thanks m’dear ~ totally (totes) get it now. heheheee

        btw…I should have thought to use the urban dictionary, however, the last few times I did — for completely benign words — there were endless~ ~ vulgar (really vulgar) listings.

        I’m no prude, for sure, but it kinda twisted my belief/respect for the authenticity of a number of posts. Much of it read like wankery-sophmores having a giggle.
        In any case THANKS!

        • WM

          Don’t feel bad. When I first heard my daughter spew the word “Totes”, I asked if she was looking for a purse or possibly an umbrella (Totes is a brand of American umbrella). She looked at me like I was nuts, said “Uh, no mom,” and repeated her statement. When it was used in context I realized — to my shock and horror — that it was an abbreviation for totally. An abbreviation for an easy to pronounce, 7 letter word. I wept a little for humanity.

          • sally_b

            “I wept a little for humanity.”

            awesome….I actually Laughed Out Loud. 😉

  20. 20 mia

    Wait, what is wrong with “alright”? 🙂

    • 20.1 WM

      I’ve always spelled it as one, but it’s supposed to be two words. My editor pounded that little fact into my head a few years ago. lol Personally, I see no problem with it. 😉

    • 20.2 canxi

      Yep, it’s two words “all right”– but now I see “all right” and “alright” as two different things. Like “alright” to me is like another form of “passable”. Like if I say “this burger is alright” I mean, it’s just “so-so” or “OK”. Of if someone asks me to do something and I’m not too excited about it, I’ll go “alright” meaning like “sure” and/or a half-hearted “OK”. Buuuut, apparently it’s not a word at all! HA

      Of course, “all right” just looks a little wrong to me even though it’s correct (because it just seems to have a completely different meaning). Of course, I think the English language is kind of weird sometimes, so…lol. I feel like new words get created all the time and “alright” is kind of pushing it’s way into the language as it’s own little entity. It’s fascinating! But, can be annoying to people, which is understandable–I think some of the bloggers on Dramabeans are writers or editors so they may know more about words than we do and so they’ll get a bit more annoyed than the rest of us.

  21. 21 ck1Oz

    You here? Are you dying yet? The first thing that springs to my mind is doughnut vs donuts.
    And no, alright is not all right. 🙂

    🙂 Thanks for the post JB and GF. We had a good laugh over at viki.
    My bugbear– all the drama posts where sms abbreviations are used on blogs or drama forums ie soompi threads.

  22. 22 coffee_lover

    Ketchup vs Catsup =P

  23. 23 Llamaesque


    You mean people who type “ur” aren’t referring to the ancient Sumerian city-state by that name, or the noun it inspired? Well, that’s news to me.

  24. 24 Fab

    The most hilarious misspelling goes to ”alot”. It’s a bit old, but these images are spot on.

  25. 25 Julia

    My first reaction, as an American, to the misspelled titles was to assume that in some cases the misspelling works to allow trademarking.

    As much as incorrect grammer sets my teeth on edge, ad promotions like “Got milk?” are effective because they stand out as wrong and make you pay attention.

    I learned in English class that part of the true glory of Shakespeare was that the language was so fluid at the time that the writer created so many new words and sayings. Rules like the Germans have that keep the language strictly make it easier to learn but at the cost of some of the creativity and absorptive qualities that a less restrictive language has.

    Either way, I personally make room for creative language use but only by folk who are smart enough to know correct language use and I bow to popular demand to let the language evolve to suit the majority even if that means breaking rules.

  26. 26 min

    i bet there’s just one person who writes, not two. think about it, guys, in all these years, all the proof that she gave you was some audio recordings where there are supposedly 2 different voices, but that’s easy as hell to fake it 😀 😀 . sorry for my bad english :D. but yeah, i bet it’s the same person, it’s sarah all by herself 😀 ^_^. girlfriday was invented by sarah. cheers!

    • 26.1 Buggabear

      Who cares? If there really is only one person behind this site (although I do believe girlfriday exists), then kudos to her for making it so entertaining all on her own! Imagine working doubly hard to write up all these articles AND make it funny?

  27. 27 lorac

    Many times I’ve gone through subtitle files and globally replaced alright with all right… right after I delete all the ?!!! and !!!! because I’m a firm believer in letting the actor express the emotion, not the subtitle line.

  28. 28 Steamy Bun

    Wait… what wrong with “alright”??

    • 28.1 Steamy Bun

      Oh god, just my luck to have a typo there. All my credentials as a “person who knows how to spell” are out the window. I guess I will just take your word that “alright” is NOT right! 😛

  29. 29 Cath

    I thought way before that the changing of the title “Bandage” thing was because it has already been used by a Japanese film before. You know that “originality’ thing that is ignored from time time which I don’t really care about because I usually focus more on the storyline.

    But when I read that its all about grammar…

    I went speechless for a while then wrote this comment and now I’m stopping so I could go on and continue my Christmas dramabeans moment.

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