Professors nationwide chose the four-letter idiom “Mistakes made but not corrected” to describe our society this year.
According to Kyosunet, a newspaper published by professors, on Sunday, 50.9% (476) of 935 professors surveyed across the nation chose the idiom as the most appropriate expression to describe Korean society for this year. The idiom first appeared in Book 15 of the Analects, in which Confucius says, “If mistakes are made but not corrected, that is wrong.”
“If a mistake is pointed out, either the ruling party or opposition parties dismiss the comment by pointing out that the former administration had done worse or blames the president. No politician comes forward to take responsibility, even in events such as the Halloween tragedy in Itaewon,” said Professor Park Hyun-mo of Yeoju University (head of the Sejong Leadership Institute), who suggested the idiom.
Professors criticized the backward politics and lack of responsibility by politicians. “It is wrenching to witness reality where no one reflects on their wrongdoings and makes any improvement,” said a professor. “Political conflicts have grown so intense that people fear that acknowledging one’s mistakes would result in acknowledging as a loser. That is why people claim they are right under any circumstances,” said another professor.
“Desire to cover only makes it more conspicuous” was the second most voted idiom, which appeared in the book “Zuozhan,” a narrative by Zuo Quiming, a historian and contemporary of Confucius of the State of Lu during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. This idiom was also selected to describe the government and political circles’ lack of accountability in dealing with the aftermath of the Itaewon incident. Third in place was “Eggs stacked on top of each other,” referring to a dangerous situation. Since 2001, the paper has been selecting and announcing four-word idioms that reflect society.