Thursdays in Review

On Thursdays, we read reviews or news stories about art or design and study the language used in them. This week’s article is about the K-pop superstars BTS.

Here are the first three paragraphs from NPR’s The Record, in italics.

K-Pop is having a moment — a big one. Billboard has announced that Korean pop music boy band BTS will have the No. 1 album in the U.S. this week, a first for any K-pop artist or group.

For the as-of-yet uninitiated, BTS (“bangtan sonyeondan”) now stands for a number of names. Take your pick: Bangtan Boys, Bulletproof Boy Scouts or the more English-friendly Beyond The Scene.

And to give you a sense of their worldwide audience, BTS was named the most Tweeted-about celebrities of 2017; the group’s tweets were liked or retweeted half a billion times — reportedly more than those of either President Trump or Justin Bieber, or even Trump and Bieber combined.


My comments:

In the first sentence, we see the phrase having a moment, which means someone or something is very successful or popular right now. The Billboard Hot 100 is a list of the top, current most well-liked music made by Billboard magazine. This week is the first time a K-pop (Korean pop music) artist is at the top of that list. It is a boy band called BTS. A boy band is a small group of young men in their teens or twenties who play pop songs for a young female audience.

In the second paragraph, we learn about the group’s name. First, we see the phrase for the as-of-yet uninitiated, which means for people who are not yet initiated. The writer tells us that “bangtan sonyeondan” is the band’s name in Korean, but the letters BTS now also stand for a number of names. This means BTS can mean other names, like Bangtan Boys, Bulletproof Boy Scouts or Beyond The Scene. Adding -friendly to a word means that it is easy to use, so something English-friendly is easy to understand in English.

In the third paragraph, we learn that BTS was named the most Tweeted-about celebrities of 2017. In this situation, named means chosen. Just like with -friendly, Tweeted-about is a way to say that many people tweeted about them in an adjective form. (Tweeting means posting on Twitter. In English, tweet is a sound a little bird makes, and the Twitter logo is a little bird.) As with many English words, adding re- to a word means to do it again, so retweeted means to tweet something again.

It’s really exciting when an artist begins to cross cultural boundaries and discover new fans. That’s why it’s important to be sure your message gets across correctly. A good language coach can help you to share your work with other cultures through English.


At Artglish, we help artists and designers to describe their work with the best vocabulary and language possible. Every Thursday we study reviews and articles to share useful words and phrases to help you improve your reading and writing skills. If you want to learn more, click here to join The Studio and try some free ways to improve your English, or check out our Lessons page to learn how Artglish can help you succeed.

I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today. They are in bold. If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.

To read the original article, written by Anastasia Tsioulcas on May 29, 2018, click the link below:
https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2018/05/29/615105923/bts-goes-to-no-1-on-billboards-album-chart-a-first-for-k-pop

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Jessica

I help artists and designers with their English so they can focus on being creative and changing the world.

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