A Terminological and Etymological Study about 'Safety'

안전'에 대한 용어적 및 어원적 연구

  • Lee, Jang-Gook (Department of Automotive Engineering, Hanzhong University)
  • 이장국 (한중대학교 자동차공학과)
  • Published : 2007.04.30


The terminological definition of 'safety' is difficult because the word has an meaning and the usage is too wide and various in itself. There could be various meanings of 'safety' according to the specific area on which the term is used. Even though the variety is permitted, a definition on the term of 'safety' is necessary not only to raise the understanding of consistent terminological meaning but also to make assure the perfectness on all of the applications. The term of 'safety' can be understood clearly by the comparison with the antonym and the synonym, and the limitation of the usage can be established through the comparative studies. Comparing with the antonym such as 'risk', 'safety' implies the recognition and prevention of the danger before an accident or a disaster occurs. Comparing with another antonym of 'disaster', 'safety' comprehends all the saving activities for the disaster and the measures to prevent the spread of collateral damages. The comparison with the synonym, 'security' shows that 'safety' can include the prevention of intentional mishaps. The Korean word of 'safety' might be selected by a scholar who was well educated to understand Chinese language and certain canonical texts written in Chinese. The etymological study of 'safety' was concentrated on I-ching which has been believed that could foretell a future and show a measure to prevent bad luck by performing good virtue in the life. The Korean word of 'safety' might come from Xicizhuan(Great treatise) which is known as one of ten commentaries for I-ching. The texts from Xicizhuan describes that all of the explanations about safety which could be translated to the principles of safety nowadays.


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