Friday, June 1, 2018

Korean news loves a good "grilling"


Korean news outlets seem to love to use the word "grill" to describe a hearing or police questioning. I felt like I'd seen this word over and over lately in English language Korean news. It turns out it wasn't just me day-dreaming about sizzling pork. 

Newsmakers being "grilled". Screengrab: Korea Times

News sites have used this word a lot lately. It looks like the latest usage was mostly prompted by Korean Air's Cho family's various rages, but other figures get a good grilling too. Check out these article headlines just from the past year alone:


Somehow adding "over" after "grill" makes my mind want to fill in the rest of the headline with "an open fire."

Comparing two translated articles where the phrase gets used [Secret military pact likely led to Blue House Chief of Staff’s UAE visit : International : News : The HankyorehMB정부, UAE와 비밀 군사협약 ‘헌법위반’ 파문 : 정치일반 : 정치 : 뉴스 : 한겨레], it looks like some instances of "grilling" come from 질문이 쏟아지다, literally to "flood" somebody with questions, or barrage them with questions. I have no idea why they go with grill so often. Maybe it just sounds more exciting and clickbaity to say "POLICE GRILL HER FOR HOURS" than the more realistic and boring "Public officers thoroughly question woman."

I halfway thought it might be just a quirk of Korean English news, but that's just plain most of what I read these days. Over on the non-Korean news front, we had our own high profile person get a nice grilling recently: 


I don't know about you, but the only thing I want to see getting grilled is some nice 조개 구이. Love when they pop open and spill out some of that nice juice. Come to think of it, maybe "grilling" is the right thing to say in this situation. The goal, after all, is to get the person heated until he opens up and spills his secrets, not unlike the goal of grilling those 조개. 

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