Letters – August 2007

Letters – August 2007

Letters to the Editor

Success Story Suggestion
Does recruitment always trump retention? In my nearly 20 years as a Toastmaster (six clubs to date), I’ve noticed a heavy emphasis on bringing guests through the front door while seeming to ignore the back one. Very predictably, attrition results.

It is my hope that the Toastmaster magazine will spotlight success stories in member retention strategies. Do members leave because of mediocre leadership? An unappetizing meeting site?

Let’s roll...with some positive role models.
B. Lee Coyne, ATMS • Mind Openers Toastmasters • Salem, Oregon

Tactical Toasts for the Practical Host
What a relief to see two great wedding articles in your June issue just in time for a new stretch of summer nuptials. A blissful ray of hope is shining for those of us who squirm in discomfort at poorly articulated speeches or toasts that get mired in the quicksand of too personal details and unfocused stories.

I’m hoping to attend a summer wedding or two where the personal, pithy and practical advice of Laura Yeager and Sandra Miller has been taken to heart. Cheers!
Mary F. Heitzman • Realtors Toastmasters Club • Bloomington, Minnesota

No Grammatical Sabbatical
In a June Letter to the Editor, Mr. van Teeffelen says, on the subject of the differences between various languages, “It is just great that the English language allows you to use the word office as a verb” and further on, “Using nouns as verbs allows you to do fun things with your language.” As a British person who takes pride in the English language, I would like to tell Mr. van Teeffelen that the English language does not allow you to use nouns as verbs. It is becoming a common practice, slipped into the use of English, particularly in the United States. It is ungrammatical and has its basis in a laziness with respect to using English correctly. Rather than enriching the English language, it vulgarizes it and is not a practice to emulate. Grammarians at Toastmasters’ meetings should never let this usage go by unchallenged.
Elizabeth Fulford, ATMB • The Europeans • Paris, France

The ABC’s of Saving Trees
In regard to Mr. van Teeffelen’s Letter to the Editor in the June issue: Because every language in the world has its own highly developed way of expression, it’s not possible to state that language A is better than language B. Besides, I think the best way to save trees is to write using a computer, not on paper.
Mandel Lee, CC • Macau Toastmasters Club • Macau SAR, China 

Score One for Toastmasters!
A month ago, I was asked to referee my 8-year-old son’s rugby game. Rugby is the national sport of New Zealand and also a national obsession. I took the whistle and did a reasonable job and have since refereed more games. During the games, I could feel my Toastmasters training working for me. A rugby referee must communicate to over 30 players, coaches and spectators. The referee is required to articulate decisions made in an instant. Thanks, Table Topics!
Marty Vink, ACB • Telecom Talkers • Auckland, New Zealand

Tribute to a Leader
I was pleased and moved to see the tribute to Past International President Ted Wood in the July issue. For me, Ted was a cherished friend and mentor whom I admired and greatly respected. He always embodied the finest in Toastmasters.

Ted was a tower of strength, a man of unflinching character who was devoted to his wife, Inez, and his family, a tireless advocate for increasing the diversity of our organization around the world, an orator in his own right, and a Toastmaster who believed that our organization has a transformative power to effect positive change in individuals and in our communities. We in Toastmasters were blessed to have such a leader, and I was blessed to have such a friend.
Tim Keck • International President 1999-2000 • Pearl City Club • Honolulu, Hawaii 

Thank You on Behalf of Anne Kramer, DTM
My wife, Anne Kramer, Distinguished Toastmaster and 2004-2005 District 21 Governor, passed away July 3, 2007, in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Surrounded by her family, she died peacefully after a heroic battle with cancer. Anne entered the hospital on February 9, and as word of her failing health spread, she received hundreds upon hundreds of well-wishes from Toastmasters around the world. These messages of hope and prayer for her recovery were a great comfort to Anne, providing renewed energy to continue her fight against the deadly disease.

On behalf of our grieving family, I wish to thank all those who provided such solace and inspiration during her time of need. The outpouring of condolences from around the TI world after her passing continues to bring comfort during this most difficult time. Anne’s passing leaves an immense hole in our family, just as it leaves a hole in the Toastmasters family. However, her spirit will live forever in those who knew and loved her.
Robert K. Kramer • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada