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 www.echoworld.com.
Updates and items of general interest get posted on
www.echoworld.net in blog form, which is also in progress to be reshaped.
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
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
All the best