Korean Insanity

Last night I was reading a diary entry in Sogang 3B. Every sentence in this entry ended in -다. I’ve also seen this in books and in newspapers. I called Good Man into the room to ask him about it.

“What is this?”

“It’s a neutral form. You should use it when you blog.”


“Well…” Whenever Good Man says “well” like that, I know I’m in for something that’s going to make me say “what?”

After a brief pause, he started again. “Well…if you really respect yourself at a high level you can talk to yourself in -요 form, if your ego is that huge.”

“But why can’t I use banmal then?”

“Because it’s weird if you use every single day and every single minute. Even Koran bloggers eventually use -다 form, because it’s blogging. Even kindergartners write in -다 form.”

So tonight I wrote an entry in -다 form and then Good Man told me, “Well…in -다 form, you don’t have to talk down to yourself and use the 저.” 저 is a humble form of I.

“What? Why do I use 나?” 나 is the non-humble form of I. (Side: I only used “I” once in my short piece. This is a true sign that I am starting to “get” Korean. I used to struggle to drop pronouns. Now I do it without thinking.)

“It is in harmony if you use 나. Everything should be in harmony.” Good Man nodded.

And this, dear readers, is why I have chosen Korean. Because of the what? factor.