Tuesday, February 9, 2010

No Comment

No comment, has just made my list of English cliches that Koreans over use. The American Eagle clothing store in Time's Square has a neon billboard where tourists can have their pictures taken with a caption. A group of girls from Seoul put their pictures up there with the caption, "No comment."

No comment, is one of those cliches that pops up every once in a while in the ESL classroom. It is meant as a joke, but I think that Korea should adopt it as it's tourism slogan. At it's literal definition it means that the person saying "No Comment," has nothing to say, but there is an implied scandal behind it.

It is kind of fun to imagine the adventures that these three Soo-jins from Seoul had while in New York city. Maybe they went apeshit and hooked up with some Brazilian guys in a youth hostel and had some lesbian and bestiality experiences. Thus the no comment implies scandal. Perhaps they arrived in New York, and went straight for the 33rd street Korea town and the no comment really means that they have nothing to say because they didn't do anything.

Either way the Korean national branding and tourism board could learn something from the dichotomous nature of "No comment," because when people take their first bus rides to Seoul and they see only the Soviet bloc style apartment buildings and learn that Korean people spend a higher percentage of their lives in school than what is probably healthy, its kind of refreshing to know that Korea also has late nights of song singing debauchery, and that no comment can equally sum up the experiences of sleeping through an English class, as well as passing out in a half eaten bowl of beansprout soup after having a hostess bar girl follow you to an ATM to get your last 300,000 won.

2 comments:

hwarangi said...

I really hate "coming soon."

3gyupsal said...

I haven't seen that one too much. I kind of hated, "No comment," when I saw it in Times Square; I thought to myself, "Hmm, you are going to come fourteen time zones across the world to buy a shirt and have you name put in lights, only to say, "No comment," or "I am not interesting enough to have anything to say." But then I realized that they could have have a pretty baddass time in New York and had a "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," kind of experience. I also realized that I probably wouldn't have said anything better. So I'll just assume that they all got into knife fights with monkeys, only to be saved by Lady Gaga who frightened them all off with one of her costumes.