Posts about Communication

Sending wrong email can be a mortifying experience.

Undoing email on gmail

6.08.2015

Gone it is and trouble it causes: email not meant to be sent. This is not talking about the half-finished ones, those with unfathomable spelling or omitted salutation. Or when a Mr. becomes a Mrs. – an involuntary sex-change that amazingly seems to be far more offensive this way round than the other. Disaster eventually strikes when confidential email or attachments are erroneously forwarded to a least-of-all-trusted person, the certified company chatterbox or – God forbid!- a detested competitor. Or a number of them. If A writes to B that C is a corrupt crook, D to Z are not supposed to be let into the secret, even though they may have long been in the know. However, once the tricky „answer all“ button for multiple recipients is pressed unintentionally, a wicked pointed weapon springs into action only to unleash its evil effect.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes
Denglish: Croutish gibberish

Krautish gibberish: Denglish

13.07.2015

Practice makes perfect? Oh, really! Some of us are just not destined to ever be fluent in English honed to perfection at Oxford or Harvard. The only superior level reached is that of ultimate frustration. Even though talent may be absent, the constant effort does deserve – and at times receive – some appreciation. Native English speakers – be they residents of their respective countries or members of an expat diaspora abroad – display admirable countenance when it comes to unravelling the puzzling matter their poor language is often being minced into. A mother-tongue recognised as official world language no. 1 minimises the necessity for its speakers to conquer foreign language terrain. A linguistic metabolism in constant uproar caused by cruel outlandish gibberish is the price to be paid for being saved humiliation in class, when vocabulary and grammar just won’t surface upon demand, or when a vital exam is failed and thus a promising international future brutally ruined forever.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes
Huge links of heavy iron chains: Minds cannot be enchained.

TED Talk. Suki Kim: This is what it’s like to teach in North Korea

7.07.2015

To be able to write her book from an insider’s point of view, South Korean-born Suki Kim took the risk of going undercover in North Korea. For half a year, Kim worked as an English teacher at an elite school honing the country’s future leaders. While sensitising her students through concepts based on “seeking the truth” and “critical thinking“, massive doubts arose on her part at the same time: Was she putting them to peril by merely exposing them to usually unspeakable topics? “Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite,” is the memoir of Kim’s stay in Pyongyang during Kim Jong-Il’s final six months. Her work offers unprecedented insights into the psychology of North Korea’s ruling class.

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Madeline Pickens spends her life saving America's Mustangs. Here with her horse "Paint".

Saving America’s Mustangs

4.06.2015

Madeleine Pickens is a businesswoman, animal welfare activist and philanthropist of European descent. When, in 2008, the Bureau of Land Management declared that the United States government considered euthanasia and/or the sale of more than 30,000 Wild Mustangs to slaughterhouses overseas, Madeleine resolved to establish a sanctuary for endangered native horses.    A year later, she testified before the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands in support of H.R. 1018, the Restoring Our American Mustangs (ROAM) Act. After acquiring the sanctuary in North Eastern Nevada, she saved over 600 Mustangs from slaughter and endeavours to rescue and preserve the Wild Mustang have been an ongoing process. Also, until this day, the sanctuary’s survival relies on Madeleine’s charity foundation „Saving Americas Mustangs“, through which the funding for the Mustang Monument Eco-Resort and Preserve could be raised.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Emotional Health

TED Talk. Guy Winch: Why we all need to practice emotional first aid

22.05.2015

We are physically healthy but a mess psychologically? We treat ourselves less kindly than we would treat our best friends? We tend to ruminate and cannot stop dwelling on a negative incident? To stop replaying the same event in your mind over again; to develop a positive attitude towards yourselves; to prioritise your psychological health and practice emotional hygiene with the same compassion you would apply if it were your bodies is what Guy gently recommends in this video.

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Reading time: about 1 minute