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February 2015 - Nr. 5
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Editor-in-chief

Dear Reader

The New Year started with great festivities in our clubs, one of which we will only tell you about in this issue, because the writer, Ingrid Oppermann, has joined our ranks of columnists and the Continental Austrian Club is a new partner with Echo Germanica. It gives us an opportunity, belated as it is, to welcome and introduce the club to our readers. Ingrid had written quite a few articles for the Deutsche Presse which never got published. Since we are only a monthly publication honoring her past commitments to the community can only happen piecemeal and not in full. We would hang everything at least onto our popular website. Unfortunately our server was hacked last year and we have not been able to post anything since October last year onto

Updates and items of general interest get posted on in blog form, which is also in progress to be reshaped.

Ingrid with her lucky charm, the chimney sweep

Ingrid with her lucky charm, the chimney sweep

Our New Year was spent at the Hansa House and it was great. Unfortunately we did not only take memories home, but the best of all husbands ended up with a zinger of a flu, the likes he never experienced before. I just got a bad cold. My flu shot worked a bit for me. This made producing a publication, our January edition, very difficult. Imagine: we worked one hour and go to bed for an hour and so on for 4 days. The paper got out one day late, but it got out. However, there were a couple of mistakes that escaped us while editing. It is a demonstration of computer logic that can cause havoc.

In Ingrid’s article about the Germania Club’s Christmas Concert she used the word “Saengergruss”, written just like this with the umlaut as “ae”. We of course have a German and an English keyboard technology and convert everything to original language, which would be “ä”.

Sometimes the computer word program corrects some items automatically, which it did in this case. What it saw was:  “Saeng…..ergruss” and it made out of “ergruss” the word “erguss”, by taking out an “r” and out of “Saeng” it made Samen by adding in an “m”, which created the totally wrong word Samenerguss.

When Ingrid came home from a cruise she was immediately made aware to that fact and of course quite alerted. How could this happen? Frantically we all tried to figure it out.

We could at first not explain it either. In our records everything was perfect, and to this day we do not know when the conversion happened in the many processes a paper goes through until it is printed. After we had considered all sorts of conspiracy theories and dismissed them I found out what happened when I wrote an email to Ingrid using “Saengergruss” in it and then tried to correct the Umlaut with the word program. I almost fell of the chair seeing it become the ridiculous “Samenerguss”.

I knew all along that computers cannot be trusted. I just hope that Nasa’s Space program does not use the same word correcting program, or else, who knows, perhaps instead of to Mars the spaceship goes to Venus or God knows were.

So I hope we are forgiven our errors, also that I called Ingrid’s last name Oppenheimer instead of Oppermann. I ask the computer deities to protect me from further mistakes and furthermore hope that we can navigate this year without pitfalls.

All the best

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

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As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.
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Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, editor, editor-in-chief of Echo Germanica, comments, cultural, artistic, political, daily events, German-Canadian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,

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