Letters – September 2007

Letters – September 2007

Letters to the Editor

Just Say the Word
I really enjoyed John Tillson’s article “Snafu Survival” (July). However, he could have summarized most of it in one word: “Control.” He skirted around it, described it, ran rings around it, but never did use the word. He essentially said if you are in control and can maintain control of any situation, you will never run into problems.
Ira Stoller, CL • Wayne Club • Wayne, New Jersey

Zero Tolerance (And No Patience) for Acronym

Snafu? Excuse me? Did anyone check to see what this term means? First of all, it is not a word. It is an acronym. It should be written SNAFU. It originated in the military and has long been understood to stand for Situation Normal All F...ed Up.

I am in the habit of placing my extra copy of the magazine in a doctor’s waiting room with contact information for our local club. I think I will skip this month. I don’t think that this is the image of Toastmasters that I want to share with the non-Toastmasters members of my community.
Eileen Barrett, ATMS • North Valley Toastmasters Club • Whitefish, Montana

Cavalier in the Cockpit?

The cover of the July issue has the title SNAFU Survival. I object to the use of this acronym in such a cavalier way. The connotation that is conveyed when the origins of  the acronym is considered is not the type of message I think should be conveyed by an organization that is supposedly dedicated to improved communication. The etymology of the “word” is from the military in a very abrasive environment where expression is performed through profanity.
Larry Vance • Waco Wordsmiths • Hewitt, Texas

Editor’s Note: The word snafu is presented in lower-case format in most dictionaries, and is defined by dictionary.com as “a badly confused or ridiculously muddled situation.” With its origins during World War II, this word became a cartoon character’s name, Private Snafu, in a show produced by Warner Brothers Studios and approved by the United States government. According to the cartoon, the acronym SNAFU stood for: Situation Normal, All Fouled Up.

Toastmasters Live!
In response to your article “Meeting on TV’ (July 2007), I call your attention to our club TV Toastmasters Live! As our name implies, our meetings are carried live on public access cable. Members are encouraged to make presentations on topics of general public interest to retain viewers and generate further interest.

We encourage other Toastmasters clubs in the area to participate. The meetings are also broadcast as reruns during the following week. This enables the participants to record their performances on VCR or DVD for various purposes, such as marketing themselves as speakers.

Read about club #9175 on the TI Web site or view our club site, tucsontv. freetoasthost.org.
Saul Silven, ACS, CL • TV Toastmasters Live! • Tucson, Arizona

Great Toastmasters Education

Since joining Toastmasters nearly two years ago I have learned more than I could have from any of the best educational institutions in the world. Four examples of what I have learned are:

  • How to speak in public
  • How to listen
  • How to think
  • How to lead

Is this not great or what?! Most members in our club agree. Thank God for Toastmasters!
Ulf Sandstrom, ACB • Sarasota Herald Tribune Toastmasters Sarasota, Florida

From Ice Breaker to Author
I joined a Toastmasters club two years ago and have benefited from the experience in countless ways. Before joining the club I had writer’s block – writing the Ice Breaker became an ice breaker for writing. After my Ice Breaker speech, I found I have a storytelling talent. This inspired me to base my manual speeches on personal stories, and so far I have delivered 18 manual speeches. Every club meeting built momentum in my writing. Now, when ideas come to me, I write stories and articles. In fact, I have even embarked on writing a book!

Thanks to Toastmasters for bringing out my latent storytelling talent and providing the impetus for my writing.
Jyoti Agrawal, CC • Gilbert Toastmasters Club • Chandler, Arizona

Etiquette Missing in Club

I recently joined a Toastmasters club and had a horrible experience giving my first speech. Not only were people rolling their eyes, several audience members started laughing. I lost my concentration and messed up the whole speech.

I am writing because of my disappointment in Toastmasters. I definitely will not go back to that club again. I am in search of another club with more maturity and professionalism. The person who laughed apologized and claimed that he was not laughing at me, but it was still extremely rude and gave me the most horrible experience in my whole life. Thanks for listening.
Ruby Thang • Houston, Texas