In South Korea, as in many historically Sinopheric countries, knowledge of classical Chinese is a hallmark of learnedness. Thus each year, Kyosu Shinmun 교수신문, a newspaper for college professors, pick a four-character idiom that describes the year’s spirit. This year’s selection is 過而不改 과이불개 - “to err and not correct it.” The axiom comes from Book 15 of the Analects of Confucius, whose full phrase is: 過而不改 是謂過矣 과이불개 시위과의 - “To make an error and not correct it is the true error.”
The phrase won 50.9% of the votes from the panel of 935 college professors around South Korea. The runners-up were 慾蓋彌彰 욕개미창 (“What is covered up only shines brighter”), 累卵之危 누란지위 (“As precarious as a stack of eggs”), 文過遂非 문과수비 (“Pretending a wrong is right”) and 群盲撫象 군맹무상 (“Blind men feeling out an elephant”).