‘Sub-unit’ vs ‘suboonit’: Dianne Medina trends after mispronouncing K-Pop buzzword
The word “sub-unit” has been making waves on social media following the mispronunciation of TV host-actress Dianne Medina at a news segment.
Medina caught the attention of K-pop fans for the wrong reason after she accidentally mispronounced the terms sub-unit and the name of the group “MiSaMo” while reporting about the upcoming debut of Twice’s Japanese members Mina, Sana, and Momo (MiSaMo) on July 26 of this year, as seen in a video uploaded by Twitter user @bop4minyo on Sunday, Feb. 12.
“Sub-unit” is pronounced just like its English counterpart, “suh-byoo-nuht”; Medina’s, however, sounded like “suboonit”.
A snippet of the host’s segment on government-owned network PTV-4 garnered over 1.4 million views, 44,000 likes, 6,500 retweets, and 16,700 quotes, as of this writing.
subunit 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/qowufkO7VA
— saint 🧸 (@bop4minyo) February 12, 2023
Following the now-viral video clip, Medina redid her report on Twice’s MiSaMo along with a corrected pronunciation of “sub-unit,” as shown in a clip uploaded on her personal Instagram page on Monday, Feb. 13. The host was spotted taking a pause after saying the K-pop buzzword, as well as a small smile.
“Rise and Shine Pilipinas PTV 4. Japanese line ng Kpop girl group na Twice, magde-debut sa Japan bilang SUB-UNIT,” she said in the caption.
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The host then clarified in the comments that the trending mishap was caused by a mistake in the show’s teleprompter after the writer accidentally forgot to include a dash.
“[N]ever ko tinake as kahihiyan [because I know] God allowed this to happen so I will learn from this mistake. [U]nless ikaw perfect ka siguro. [A]ko kasi hindi kaya ok lang magkamali (I never viewed the incident as embarrassing because I know God allowed this to happen. So, I will learn from this mistake. Unless you’re perfect. I am not so it’s okay to make mistakes),” she added.
What is a sub-unit anyway?
In case you haven’t caught up, a sub-unit is a K-pop buzzword used to describe a smaller unit of idols from an existing group.
Members of a K-pop sub-unit can either range from a duo, trio, or even more — as long as they come from a group that is currently active in the industry.
What makes a sub-unit different from the typical music collaboration is that it can be seen as an opportunity for K-pop idols to explore a wider range of concepts and music styles outside of their comfort zone. After releasing a single or an album, the unit carries on with promotional activities such as performing in music shows, appearing in magazine covers, participating in variety shows or dance challenges, and more.
But there are unique cases where idols from different groups or agencies come together to form a sub-unit.
This applies to the female supergroup GoT The Beat (composed of soloist Boa, Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon and Hyoyeon, Red Velvet’s Seulgi and Wendy, and aespa’s Karina and Winter) from SM Entertainment, as well as labelmate SuperM consisting of SHINee’s Taemin, EXO’s Baekhyun and Kai, NCT 127’s Taeyong and Mark, and WayV’s Ten and Lucas).
Another example of a unique sub-unit is the duo Toheart consisting of SHINee’s Key under SM Entertainment and Infinite’s Woohyun under Woollim Entertainment. EDV
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