From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."

All Kill

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My husband and I were on our way to Hyewadong when I saw an ad on the train that says: ALL DAY, ALL KILL. Those are the only English words on that ad, printed in big bold letters, and there are no pictures that would tell what ALL DAY, ALL KILL is about to someone who can’t read and understand Korean. I can read and understand Korean somehow, so I read the rest of the ad and found out that ALL DAY, ALL KILL is not an invitation to an act of terrorism, but “a special sale promo all day”.

I showed the ad to my husband and asked him, “Do you think there’s something wrong about that ad?”

He looked at it for a brief moment, shook his head, and resumed playing a game on his cellphone.

Later on as I was browsing the net, I realized that here in South KoreaALL KILL is a common expression used to promote special deals or announce big discounts.

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It is also used to describe an extravagant or fun-filled event, as shown in this invitation.

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Would you dare go to an ALL KILL Snow Party?

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What do you think ALL KILL PEOPLE means? I think they are referring to a “fabulous group of people” or probably the invitees.

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Is this a call for a massacre?

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Yup, so may things can happen in a club… but ALL KILL IN DA CLUB sounds horrifying!

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More ammunition, perhaps?

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Reminds me of a movie I’ve watched, wherein the assassin was given a map, some instructions and a photo of his target. The map was not as colorful and detailed as this one, though.

What happens after all the KILLings?

What happens after ALL the KILLings?

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There's going to be another ALL KILL this summer? Noooooo!

 

There's going to be another ALL KILL this summer? Noooooo!

There’s going to be another ALL KILL this summer? Noooooo!

 

What the... even my new eyeliner KILLs?

What the… even my new eyeliner KILLs? Who the ~~~~ is Slim?

*** This post is not meant to demean or poke fun at (some) Korean advertisers or whoever is involved in writing/editing/approving the use of such negative words in print, on-line and television advertisements, as well as in package designs, but as a writer and a teacher who knows the great impact media and words alone have on children, I think that KILL and ALL KILL are not appropriate expressions to use for promotion and advertising.

3 thoughts on “All Kill

  1. Enjoyed every bit of your article post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

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  2. Thank you for sharing with us a thought from T.R. Reid’s “Confucius Lives Next Door”. Koreans use Konglish, a mixture of Korean and English words, or sometimes English words with different connotations. ‘All kill’ is one example. ^^

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  3. While I don’t live in South Korea, I’ve seen this type of advertisement in shows and read about it and it certainly surprised me the first time I encountered it. It reminds me of how T. R. Reid’s book “Confucius Lives Next Door” talks about the interesting mingling of English and other languages – often changing or using the English in a way that native English-speakers find very confusing or indiscernible…I agree, using “ALL KILL” in promotions doesn’t seem very appropriate, but I guess they’re interpreting it their own way. Very interesting post, thanks!

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