Bert and Ernie. Washer and dryer. Peanut butter and jelly. Trump and Russians. Cops and robbers. These are all natural pairings that are constantly associated with each other. It could be argued that one could not exist without the other. I think perhaps robbers would politely disagree. Actually, since they're robbers, they probably wouldn't politely disagree at all. There isn't much politeness in theft, so I suppose that they would surreptitiously disagree. The whole point to this stupid introduction is that I would be incredibly remiss if I talked about han yesterday and didn't mention the flip side of that concept today, Ken Jeong. Ok, maybe it isn't Ken Jeong, but just plain old jeong.
Jeong is another one of these words that struggles for clear definition. I'm starting to think that Korean was invented by teenagers. None of the words really mean what they are supposed to! No wonder no one understands us! We're designed to communicate in ways that only we can understand. It's like having a code that nobody is interested in breaking. Thankfully we don't have this problem in one of the most wonderfully descriptive languages, English. Try to think of any word in English that doesn't really mean what you think it does or is untranslatable? The closest thing I can think of is the word redneck. Can you imagine trying to explain to a Swedish person what a redneck is? It's just easier to go to a trailer park and point them out. Like the famous saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words."
Everyone talks about how easy Korean is to learn. I guess I am not the cunning linguist that I thought I was. Because it's been a bloody nightmare for me thus far. Also, no one can seem to agree whether a p is actually pronounced as a d or n is a m or up is down or right is left. You use some numbers for counting and you use other numbers for dates and money and lotteries. Some words use 2 block sequences, some use 3, and some use 4, but sometimes you hide one for later. Can anyone sense a little frustration on my part as I'm learning poorly Hangul and Korean? I hope so, because I'm laying it on pretty thick.
Ok, now that the required tangent is over with, we can get back to just what the hell is jeong. Jeong is more than love. Considering I just learned about this concept yesterday, I don't think I'm the best person to be speaking about it. I'm going to end up sounding like a Trump supporter talking about Space Force. I'll just repeat the word over and over again and then say something insanely incorrect. Let's see if I sort of understand what this is. I do something for KADs that I don't do for anyone else. In the world of Facebook, I scrutinize a friend request pretty hard. Ideally I know exactly who that person is. If I don't, I almost always reject the friend request. That means that if you and I have not met, I will not accept your invitation. I think it demeans the concept of friend. But if a Korean person sends me a friend request, it's an instantaneous accept. I don't even click on the profile. I just hit accept. I don't know why exactly I do this. I feel compelled inside to accept. It would feel wrong of me to deny that person. I absolutely detest the fact that I am judging people on their appearance. I would never do this in any other circumstance, yet I find myself doing exactly what I hate the most about people and having no good reason why I'm doing that. That's jeong. Or hypocrisy. You know what, let's stick with that's jeong. That sounds cooler and more exotic.
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