Monday, September 13, 2010

So, how great is your spec?

"Wow, what an impressive spec you have!"

The above is part of an advertisement from the Korea Student Aid Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The ad was promoting how both organizations could help students in obtaining the best "spec".
So what is spec? It's a Konglish word based on "specifications", basically meaning notable credentials that would show up on a resume/CV. Let's say you're hiring a new employee, for example. "What's the spec you're looking for?"is a question that you'd be asked.
The word is used even when you're asking info about a blind date. "What's his spec?"

But I'm not posting a language lesson here. That ad caught my eye because of what was written on the graduation cap, the main elements of the "impressive spec" of today's Korean society. From top to bottom the list goes:
TOEIC 900 (n.b. top score is 990)
University student honorary ambassador
Overseas language course
Overseas study tour member
Student reporter
Group internship
Idea contest
Overseas MBA

WTF? When I reached the last item I literally laughed out loud, making the people around me stare. (The ad was on a metro platform.) Is that all what the kids today are striving for? I mean, really. POWERBLOGGING??? And since when did participating (and winning is implied there, too) in an "idea contest" become basic criteria? No wonder the kids are so stressed.
I know I'm old but when we graduated all you needed was a good education, a good attitude and it basically got you where you needed to be. Soooo glad I'm not of this generation; my brain would have exploded by now.

Besides the obvious, what would be considered a great spec in other countries? I'm curious. Anything as utterly ridiculous as powerblogging?


fatim said...

really funny post =)....

cibones said...

No, mam'selle, you are still a young 'un.

However I agree you were raised to a different spec than the one shown, more like the one I knew.

In fact my brain did explode from that stress in '71 which is why my degree is 1994...:)

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