중앙데일리

Netizens here hassle Chos with 2 different spellings

Apr 19,2007
As soon as the name of the shooter at Virginia Tech University was released last night, it was trouble for anyone named Cho Seung-hui, spelled two different ways in Korean.
Internet users tracked down people with that name, leaving rude comments, curses and pleas on the guestbooks of their Web sites.
The Korean newswire Yonhap, writing almost a direct translation from the Washington Post, made a mistake in the process of translating Cho’s name from English to Korean, because the wire did not confirm the Korean spelling. Although the spelling in English is the same, “hui” can be spelled two ways in Korean. Yonhap, followed quickly by other media, spelled it the way Koreans would say “whee,” the common spelling for hui.
However, the Foreign Ministry later confirmed that the name Seung-hui would be pronounced as “hee.”
On Cyworld, a social networking site that lets you find a person’s Web site according to birth year and name, thousands of people Tuesday night began to hunt down Cho Seung-hui, spelled both ways.
The daily hit count rose to several thousand on the home pages of these innocent people named Cho, many of whom could not respond because they were serving the two-year mandatory military service.
Lee Ju-hyo, a high-school friend of a Cho Seung-hui (spelled ‘whee’) who is still in the military, said, “My friend has never even been outside of Korea.”
Many of the site owners with the “hee” spelling closed their sites or converted them to a password mode by yesterday morning. Those that were still open as of yesterday evening had almost 10,000 hits. One Cho even changed his Web site’s name to “I didn’t kill anyone.”
Meanwhile, the number of international calls from Korea to the United States surged as much as 40 percent after the incident, phone companies reported.


By Wohn Dong-hee Staff Writer [wohn@joongang.co.kr]



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