[KS] The Romanization Discussion

Stefan Ewing sa_ewing at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 3 15:42:09 EDT 2005

Dear KS list members:

My apologies for not replying sooner.  We have now successfully moved to our 
new home, all the boxes are unpacked, and I can now once again devote my 
attention to indulgences such as this discussion list.

My sincerest apologies to Dr. Ledyard for any misunderstanding I may have 
caused.  I certainly did not feel in any way personally snubbed by him, and 
did not stop writing on the subject because of him.  Early on in my 
participation here, a sympathetic commenter pointed out off-list that 
romanization is a subject that many participants are understandably tired of 
discussing.  It was right and politic of Dr. Ledyard to throw a nod to such 
participants in one or two of his earlier posts.  His comments gave me an 
"out," and I was referring in my last post to the the sentiments he was 
sensibly respecting, not to his own views on the subject _per se_.

I do thank Messrs./Drs. Lee, Ledyard, Ramsey, King, Driscoll, et al. for 
their fascinating comments.  The anecdotes in particular--regarding the 
history of Yale Romanization; Rhee Syngman's failed attempts at Hangul 
orthographic reform; and the personal factors at play in the development of 
the 2000 Revised Romanization of Korean--have been quite intriguing.  I do 
at least hope that many subscribers who are otherwise uninterested in the 
topic of romanization have enjoyed reading these anecdotes as much as I 

Yours sincerely,
Stefan Ewing

>From: gkl1 at columbia.edu
>Reply-To: Korean Studies Discussion List <Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
>To: Korean Studies Discussion List <Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
>Subject: Re: [KS] The Romanization Discussion
>Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 23:54:06 -0400
>As a long-time list veteran who has been through many discussions on 
>romanization that ended nowhere, I expressed myself tired of the subject in 
>a posting a few weeks ago. Stefan Ewing, who obviously has a genuine, 
>sincere, and informed interest in this topic, seems to have taken my 
>message as a damper, and may have stopped talking about it before he really 
>wanted to. I'm grateful for Mr McGuire giving him an opportunity to get 
>into it again. I deeply regret it if something that I wrote has dissuaded 
>anybody from saying anything they want to say on this list. I have no wish 
>to do so, ever.

>I was surprised that Sang Oak's message-- which really was a very 
>significant comment on the subject, elicited no responses. As a friend of 
>Sang Oak and one familiar with his many efforts to
>encourage the official Korean romanization discussions of 1999 to move in 
>open and flexible directions, when his own position between his Korean 
>colleagues and his foreign friends made things somewhat tight for him, I 
>have always thought he deserved and deserves the gratitude of all of us. 
>His conclusion that Korea needs three romanization systems is a pragmatic 
>and sensible recognition of reality, and I am sure that that is the way it 
>will play out in the future. Here's to you, Sang Oak!  And let no one 
>hesitate to talk about what they want to talk about, no matter what some 
>old crank
might think!

Gari Ledyard

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