Korean language is starting to have “flavor”

When I started learning Korean, the words were all neutral.  They lacked connotation.  I intentionally added in only happy words.   Therefore, I have made positive associations with the language.  It is part of what motivates me to learn.

I have discovered lately that words are taking on flavor.  Like the word for rice plant always makes me think fondly of Chulmoon the farmer.  The word for “you” I have complete adversion to, and can’t actually remember.  The people or experiences that have introduced me to words get stored with the word in my brain as an association, giving the word flavor.

Some words, those pesky ones that just won’t stick, are getting negative connotations.  Whatever that stupid word I always forget that has a game control for the Mem and is something like bap bop … that one I loath.  Whenever I have to remember it, I am filled with sour thoughts.

Oppa is a word so full of warmth, that I want to call men who are my young friends Oppa even when they are younger than me.  Yet, there isn’t a  man near my age that I would dare to use Oppa with, as it feels too intimate.

People my age, I err on the side of being too formal.  One of my Korean mentors is a stickler for using honorific/polite formal speech.   I try to use the -yo level most often, avoiding banmal (even though I have heard a lot of it from dramas and Mindpasta).  Yet formal polite -imnida level of speech is so rarely used I am very stiff and uncomfortable with it.  I want to be respectful, but my connotation is awkward stiffness and struggle.

I suspect this is a milestone on my journey of learning.

What words do you have connotations of in Korean?

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