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Use of English Initials in Korea to Express Anonymity: A Sociolingusitic Analysis

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2003, 11(2), pp.277-300
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

Seo-young Chae 1

1서강대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

Chae, Seo-young. 2003. Use of English Initials in Korea to Express Anonymity: A Sociolingusitic Analysis. The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea, 11(2). Recently, a distinctive way of using English alphabet is found in Korea. The English initial of a Korean name, whether it is a company or a person, is frequently used to express anonymity. Its usage is quite intriguing for a number of reasons: first, a principle seems to be at work in using two types of initials, 'true' and 'pseudo' initials, although it is often arbitrarily determined by the writer; second, the referent who is termed by a 'true initial' may be faced with the doubt and other people with the same initials might may suffer because of it; third, the usage is inevitably limited to a group of Koreans who know and prefer English, thus segregates other people who prefer traditional expressions to English counterparts.

Citation status

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