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The Com-Unicator

EDITION 1 / 2006 • October 2006


The Quarterly English Language Review for all Com-Unic Students and Private Subscribers Also in this issue: The World of English looks at South Africa - page 3

Breaking news

Making your life easier - Com-Unic starts two new services: T-Learning and Hotline for English Both to be introduced mid-October 2006

Prize Quiz test your English and win - page 4 Prof. Hüther‘s Column looking at a new relationship culture - page 2

Meet our Trainers the people out front - page 3

History of Email the early beginnings - page 4 Spanish Corner - page 3 The English Scene in the Rhine-Neckar area - page 4 Crossword - page 4 About Com-Unic - page 2 Editor‘s Corner - page 2

Your Hotline for English Starts 16th October 2006


imply call 0900 1 266 864 (or dial up 09001comuni) for fast, stress-free and competent English assistance. Spurred by repeated requests from a large client, Com-Unic has set up a Hotline service for English, initially Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Whenever you need assistance with the right vocabulary when writing emails, reports, letters etc or the correct formulation in English, you now have immediate access to a competent Hotline adviser. Apart from the immediate access, the advantages of the Com-Unic Hotline are that you can get information and the right and contemporary words, expressions and formulations, far better and fitting than in a conventional dictionary. You can describe the situation in German or simply send an email that you have already drafted and the Hotline adviser will have the right answer to your specific questions. This saves you a great deal of time

STOP! Before you throw it away…. Ever wondered how your Mars bar got its wrapper? By Boris Kaeser


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Some KEYWORDS in this article















bar, let’s see what is involved. All the well-known brand manufacturers such as Nestlé, Masterfoods or Danone have their own marketing teams who need to launch new products and promotional campaigns. Especially for retail products on supermarket shelves, packaging plays a distinctly important role in the sales process. Products need to have their own identity and features to stand out from comparable competitive products. A unique selling angle has to be created. In packaging, this is done by choosing special colours, unique and extraordinary designs and effects, as well as innovative solutions in shape or by a combination of the all these factors. As soon as the marketing team finally decides what the packaging should look like, the process begins. In today’s packaging and printing business, the whole process is separated into: design, artwork, reproduction, printing form manufacture and finally, the printing itself.

.... a structured telephone conversation

T-Learning: Tuition on the telephone You’re never too far away with T-Learning!


For further Hotline details (also in German), prices and application forms, please get in touch with Com-Unic by email or call 06221 – 739 11 60

Feature article

aving enjoyed your Mars bar, presumably you were just about to throw the wrapper in the bin, but if you knew what was behind the making of this throw-away wrapper you would be quite surprised (but still throw it away!). To give you a brief idea of how the wrapper finally comes to your Mars

looking for the right way to say it and you have a 100% error-free text. No matter where you are – in the office, at home, on a train or a hotel abroad – when you need help, the Hotline is only a cell phone call away! Until we can extend the service to a 24 hour basis, please check the time zones before calling. If you have a very large text for translation into English, then consider using our translation service. Email us the text and you will receive the translation as fast as possible.

When it comes to design, there are a handful of big packaging design agencies and hundreds or even thousands of smaller agencies who are involved in the creative phase and are mainly located close to the brand customers’ headquarters. For the artwork and digital reproduction for packaging, the number of suppliers becomes smaller and smaller, as special know-how is required to achieve the best results during the print run later on. The print form manufacturer makes the form, using an engraving process. This could be gravure, flexo, offset or screen, whichever is required for the actual printing of the wrapper or packaging. Look at any wrapper, and you will see even the finest lines and most intricate patterns. For each colour, a separate print form is required. Once the printing cylinders are on the printing press, the wrapper material is printed at the rate of up to 500 metres a minute – it’s so fast, that you cannot really see it with the naked eye. The printed foil is then made into huge rolls which are sent to the producers, who actually do the wrapping of their products, which are distributed to the retail shops and supermarkets, waiting for you to buy more – and discard the packaging. Now you know!

lesson with T-Learning is a structured telephone conversation, in which a student of a foreign language talks to a native-speaking trainer in order to improve his or her speaking and listening skills. This service benefits all language learners. However, they Boris Kaeser studied marketing and now works in the packaging industry. Some KEYWORDS in this article





brand manufac- Markenherturers steller promotional campaign






selling angle


particularly address the needs of those students who have no time to attend regular lessons, but wish to maintain or improve their level in the foreign language. These so-called T-lessons are shorter than regular lessons - a regular Com-Unic lesson lasts 90 minutes, but T-lessons usually last 20 minutes. More importantly, T-lessons can take place anywhere. It doesn’t matter if students are far away on a business trip. All they have to do is to phone their trainer at the arranged time. Most T-lessons are once a week, but if required, they can take place more frequently and/or last longer than 20 minutes. In a normal face-to-face lesson, both students and trainers partly rely on their body language to get their messages across. On the phone, the student and the trainer cannot see each other, so lessons are 100% oral communication and thus very intense. Heidelberg

A late summer evening

28.09.2006 14:46:49


The Com-Unicator • EDITION 1 / 2006

T-Learning....continued from front page 1 During a T-lesson, students are free to talk about whatever they want. If they want to talk about something very specific, they should tell their trainer beforehand, e-mailing the trainer enough information for him or her to prepare in advance. However, in case the student does not wish to talk about anything in particular, there will always be a weekly topic. Before a t-lesson, students should access the Com-Unic website and log in. This will lead them to the week’s topic: a short article with questions that encourage conversation. If they read the article and the questions before the t-lesson, they can prepare themselves well. Most of the articles focus on business or on world news, although there are also be articles about technology, health, culture, entertainment, etc. to

provide a variety of themes. A 20-minute t-lesson will more or less have the following structure: -WARM UP: 1 minute to warm up in the target language, normally doing some small talk -REVIEW: 4 minutes to review the grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation dealt with in the previous t-lesson -MAIN THEME: 14 minutes to talk about the weekly topic or about the topic proposed by the student -COOL DOWN: 1 minute to wrap up the conversation, and to ask the student if he or she has any questions or comments After the t-lesson, the trainer will e-mail the student a “t-report” (see example in the box on the right) in PDF format. The student should read the “t-report” and, especially, take note of any grammar,

vocabulary or pronunciation problems that were encountered during the tlesson. These are the points that will be dealt with in the REVIEW part of the next t-lesson. Some KEYWORDS in this article skills










YOUR T- REPORT Student’s name:

Carsten Müller

Date of t-lesson:

15 September 2006

Time of t-lesson:

10:00 – 10:20 (20 minutes)

Conversation topic(s): Outsourcing

General comments: Very good, Carsten! You’re clearly improving! And what a sense of humour!

Grammar: You made no grammar mistakes this time, Carsten. Congratulations!


By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you‘ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you‘ll become a philosopher. Socrates

For further T-Learning details (also in German), please contact Com-Unic by email or call 06221 – 739 11 61

Remember the following words: Collective agreement = Tarifvertrag / Iconic = very famous and believed to symbolize an idea (e.g. the iconic actress, Marilyn Monroe) / Shift = a period of work time (e.g. the morning shift, afternoon shift or night shift at a factory or hospital)

Pronunciation: In American English, please remember that the O in ‘process’ is like the O in ‘hot’! It does not sound like the OA in ‘boat’.

Professor Hüther’s Column

Even if you pull, the grass won’t grow any quicker!

Neuro-scientific arguments for a new relationship culture


Part one: odern brain research confirms an old Indian proverb: putting on pressure and inducing fear are not only unsuitable strategies for improving performance; they also strangle curiosity and creativity in schools, businesses and civil administration. It’s high time to think about a new relationship culture. And slowly but surely, this is starting to be implemented as a successful leadership concept everywhere. Supportive leadership, namely the promotion of the readiness to achieve through support, recognition and encouragement. What should grow better has to be adequately watered and fertilised. Unfortunately, the strange notion has set in the minds of many people that it is or indeed must be tiring to achieve, whether to learn a lot in school or to work successfully later. Therefore in school or at work, it is all too often attempted to improve acievement through reward and if this doesn’t

work, by threat of punishment. These learning by rote methods appear at first glance to work quite well. But on closer examination and particularly in the long term, they turn out to be extremely problematical. Through these forced methods, the achiever senses a feeling: he or she feels that they are being put under pressure.

pulled instead of being watered. Gerald Hüther is Professor for Neurobiology at the Psychiatric Clinic of Göttingen University and our scientific editor.

Neuronal patterns thus activated in the brain are then coupled and connected with all that required to attain the achievement concerned. Who goes through this once or even repeatedly, always feels, even at a later date, this same unpleasant feeling in his stomach, whenever he faces a similar challenge. In order to get rid of this, one can only try to keep well clear of the work or even to seek an even bigger reward. The enthusiasm for achievement, the enthusiasm for learning and to do it your way is usually gone forever. The seedling shrivels, because it has been

In the next issue: The new methods of the brain researchers Money can‘t buy you happiness, but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery. Spike Milligan

Prof. Dr. Gerald Hüther Some KEYWORDS in this article brain research








strange notion

sonderbare Vorstellung

rote methods




neuronal patterns





Com-Unic Language & Communication Consulting, Waldhoferstr 100, 69123 Heidelberg,,


Thomas P. Iredale -

Scientific Editor:

Prof. Gerald Hüther -


W&F Druck, Leimen Tel: 06224 - 82 83 10 Email:


1,000 copies in total; 600 copies direct mail to Com-Unic students; 400 copies subscription and complimentary


Quarterly: October, January, April and July. Subscription price € 20 per year, delivered to your address


Please request media data from

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Don’t forget to access to prepare for next week’s t-lesson! Geschäftsführer

Alexander Seiler

Editor’s Corner





Fon: 0900-1-266-864

hotline GmbH & Co KG Mail:

Waldhoferstr. 100 69123 Heidelberg

Dear readers, Just why did we decide to publish this review? In the first place, we thought that it would be a useful, informal and fun way to augment the English lessons, which Com-Unic provide to its students, who are employees of companies in the Rhine-Neckar area. Additionally, it is to provide an English forum, which was somehow missing in the region. For each article, we have provided a “Keyword” list, containing some of those words, in chronological order, which we think may not be commonly known. This feature should enable the reader to enjoy the articles, without the recourse of looking up totally unfamiliar words in a dictionary. The content is of a general nature, in order to give the Com-Unicator a broader appeal to all readers. In future issues, we will also include letters (or should I say, emails) to the editor, so that we can judge the feedback from you. If you would like to contribute an article, please feel free to do so. As this publication is of an educational nature, why not take it home and let your children children read it? You will have noticed, that we have decided to use “British English” throughout, but this does not mean that we have anything against “US English”, which is of course spoken widely in this region, through the presence of the US military forces. In each edition, we will have some form of prize competition. This time it is a quiz and we are already looking forward to a lively response from you all. An easy €25! This publication is free to all registered Com-Unic students; members of the general public who would like to take out a subscription (it’s € 20 a year for all four issues, delivered to your address), let me know and I will pass this on to our circulation people. How do you think we can make the Com-Unicator better? Please put your thoughts (in English, of course) on paper and email them to me. Until the next issue, take care and enjoy the Com-Unicator.

Tom Iredale (

The Com-Unic Group

28.09.2006 14:46:54


EDITION 1 / 2006 • The Com-Unicator The world of English: the regular feature on countries, in which English is an official language

South Africa, more than just lions & sunshine by Solé Pienaar


oeie dag almal! This means “Hi everyone” in Afrikaans, just one of South Africa’s eleven official languages.

When people think of South Africa, they usually picture lions on the prowl and 365 days of sunshine (a myth, it does rain sometimes!). South Africa boasts magnificent wildlife, but it has

More than just lions

Friendly and proud of their heritage

Meet the trainers

Our people out front Mrs. Dagmar Leo


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There is so much more to discover, so why don’t you go and see for yourself. Solé Pienaar is a native South African, who studied languages at the University of Heidelberg. (All pictures courtesy of South Africa Tourism)

About Com-Unic


ince it was founded in the year 2000, the company can look back on a steady expansion of its services in the field of further education for companies and government agencies. The latest services to be offered have been described in this review. Com-Unic offers a comprehensive range of services, split into 3 segments: Foreign Languages, Communicative Strategies and Management Coaching. For more information, please visit our website:

Some KEYWORDS in this article




halbtrocken, dürr









I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back. Zsa Zsa Gabor Fancourt with mountain as backdrop

Augrabie Falls National Park

In the next issue The world of English will be taking a look at the fascinating island of Malta

The Com-Unic Quiz

This month’s Com-Unic Quiz - 5 prizes of € 25 to be won 1. What does “tempus fugit” mean?

two years ago, Dagmar teaches English at Freudenberg Process Seals in Weinheim, Springer Verlag Heidelberg and DaimlerChrysler in Mannheim (EvoBus). She has recently moved to Ludwigshafen with her Italian husband and in her leisure time, Dagmar enjoys travelling, reading and jogging.

ot many people have the unusual gift of including fluency in a Slavic language, besides an English mother tongue, German and Italian in their linguistic portfolio. Dagmar’s background automatically provides a wealth of intercultural experience and skills in dealing with people. For her students, all this is enrichment to the usual content of lessons. Besides London, she also studied at the Universities of Mainz, Göttingen and Silesia. Having joined Com-Unic just about

much more to offer. It has 2,798 km of coastline, ranging from sub-tropic in the north east, to the semi-arid west coast and the Garden Route with the Knysna rainforests on the south coast. All along the coast there are spectacular beaches, like those on postcards – turquoise water, enormous round granite boulders and golden sands. Hermanus, in the Western Cape, offers some of the world’s best spots to see the Southern Right Whale when the calves are born between April and September. More popular destinations for tourists are the national parks, such as the Kalahari Transfrontier National Park. Here one finds the unique Oryx, one of South Africa’s rarest antelope (and also lions!). The Kruger National Park on the border with Mozambique is South Africa’s biggest conservation park. Here the so-called big five roam: lion, buffalo, elephant, rhinoceros and leopard. Stellenbosch is South Africa’s oldest town and the centre of the Cape wine lands. The tradition of winemaking was brought to South Africa by the French Huguenots in 1688 and today it forms a unique blend of European and African cultures, producing some of the world’s best wine. South Africans are known to be very friendly, they are proud of their heritage and are always pleased to share this with visitors. Tourists can visit traditional villages to see the culture and traditions of great indigenous warrior tribes such as the Xhosa and the Zulu, but also smaller tribes known for their craftsmen such as the Ndebele.

Please send in your answer in English by email to

2. How many official languages are there in South


or by post to the following address:

3. What do the letters in the word “LASER” stand for?

The Com-Unicator Com-Unic Waldhoferstrasse 100 69123 Heidelberg

4. How many states form the United States of America? 5. Name one novel written by Jane Austen (1775-1817). 6. Which is correct: “acommodate”, “accomodate” or “accommodate”? 7. What is a “geyser”? 8. When did the United Nations come into existence?

Spanish Corner


Please remember to write your name and address and let us know which Com-Unic course you are taking. Closing date is 20th December 2006. All correct answers will be put in a hat and the first five drawn will each receive a prize of €25.

Una Latina con poder

o se trata de Jennifer López ni de Salma Hayek. La revista Forbes acaba de colocar a Michelle Bachelet, presidenta de Chile, en el lugar 17 de la lista de las 100 mujeres más influyentes del mundo. En el tope de la lista, la canciller alemana, Angela Merkel logró destronar a Condoleezza Rice, secretaria de estado norteamericana. La „dama de hierro“ oriental, Yi Wu, viceprimera ministra china,

está en el tercer lugar. Entre las 10 primeras también se encuentran la estadounidense de origen indio, Indra Nooyi, recién nombrada presidenta de PepsiCo. Además incluyeron a quienes el año pasado fueron las primeras mujeres en asumir las riendas de sus países: Han Myungsook, primera ministra de Corea del Sur, y Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, presidenta de Liberia. Al puesto 18 subió Hillary Clinton.

Otros nombres que se reconocen fácilmente en la lista son: Melinda Gates, esposa del fundador de Microsoft, Bill Gates; la reina Isabel II de Inglaterra, que pasó del lugar 79 al 46; Christie Hefner, hija del fundador de Playboy; y la presentadora de televisión estadounidense Oprah Winfrey, que se encuentra en el puesto 14. Bachelet es la única latinoamericana de la lista. Fuente: REVISTA EME

28.09.2006 14:46:57


The Com-Unicator • EDITION 1 / 2006

Special feature

The history of email

Going back to the source - by Ian Peter


mail is much older than ARPANet or the Internet. It was never invented; it evolved from very simple beginnings. Early email was just a small advance on what we know these days as a file directory - it just put a message in another user‘s directory in a spot where they could see it when they logged in. Simple as that. Just like leaving a note on someone‘s desk. Probably the first email system of this type was MAILBOX, used at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1965. Another early programme to send messages on the same computer was called SNDMSG. Some of the mainframe computers of this era might have had up to one hundred users - often they used what are called “dumb terminals“ to access the mainframe from their work desks. Dumb terminals just connected to the mainframe - they had no storage or memory of their own, they did all their work on the remote mainframe computer. Before internetworking began, therefore, email could only be used to send messages to various users of the same computer. Once computers began to talk to each other over networks, however, the problem became a little more complex - We needed to be able to put a message in an envelope and address it. To do this, we needed a means to indicate to whom letters should go that the system understood - just like the postal system, we needed a way to indicate an address. This is why Ray Tomlinson is credited with inventing email in 1972. Like many of the Internet inventors, Tomlinson

worked for Bolt Beranek and Newman as an ARPANET contractor. He picked the @ symbol from the computer keyboard to denote sending messages from one computer to another. So then, for anyone using Internet standards, it was simply a matter of writing nameof-the-user@name-of-the-computer. Internet pioneer Jon Postel, who we will hear more of later, was one of the first users of the new system, and is credited with describing it as a “nice hack”. It certainly was, and it has lasted to this day. Despite what the world wide web offers, email remains the most important application of the Internet and the most widely used facility it has. Now more than 600 million people internationally use email. By 1974 there were hundreds of military users of email because ARPANET eventually encouraged it. Email became the saviour of Arpanet, and caused a radical shift in Arpa‘s purpose. Things developed rapidly from there. Larry Roberts invented some email folders for his boss so he could sort his mail, a big advance. In 1975 John Vital developed some software to organize email. By 1976 email had really taken off, and commercial packages began to appear. Within a couple of years, 75% of all ARPANET traffic was email. Email took us from Arpanet to the Internet. Here was something that ordinary people all over the world wanted to use. As Ray Tomlinson observed some years later about email, “any single development is stepping on the heels of the previous one and is so

closely followed by the next that most advances are obscured. I think that few individuals will be remembered.” That‘s true - to catalogue all the developments would be a huge task. One of the first new developments when personal computers came on the scene was “offline readers”. Offline readers allowed email users to store their email on their own personal computers, and then read it and prepare replies without actually being connected to the network - sort of like Microsoft Outlook can do today. This was particularly useful in parts of the world where telephone costs to the nearest email system were expensive. (often this involved international calls in the early days) With connection charges of many dollars a minute, it mattered to be able to prepare a reply without being connected to a telephone, and then get on the network to send it. It was also useful because the “offline” mode allowed for more friendly interfaces. Being connected direct to the host email system in this era of very few standards often resulted in delete keys and backspace keys not working, no capacity for text to “wrap around” on the screen of the user’s computer and other such annoyances. Offline readers helped a lot. The first important email standard was called SMTP, or simple message transfer protocol. SMTP was very simple and is still in use - however, as we will hear later in this series, SMTP was a fairly naïve protocol, and made no attempt to find out whether the person claiming to send a message was the person they were supposed to be. Forgery was (and still is) very easy in email addresses. These basic flaws in the protocol were later to be exploited by viruses and worms, and by security frauds and spammers forging identities. Some of these problems are still being addressed in 2004.

But as it developed email started to take on some pretty helpful features. One of the first good commercial systems was Eudora, developed by Steve Dorner in 1988. Not long after, Pegasus mail appeared. When Internet standards for email began to mature the POP (or Post Office Protocol) servers began to appear as a standard - before that each server was a little different. POP was an important standard to allow users to develop mail systems that would work with each other. These were the days of per-minute charges for email for individual dialup users. For most people on the Internet in those days email and email discussion groups were the main uses. These were many hundreds of these on a wide variety of topics, and as a body of newsgroups they became known as USENET. With the World Wide Web, email started to be made available with

friendly web interfaces by providers such as Yahoo and Hotmail. Usually this was without charge. Now that email was affordable, everyone wanted at least one email address, and the medium was adopted by not just millions, but hundreds of millions of people. For the kind permission to use this material, we are indebted to Please feel free to visit their web page. Some KEYWORDS in this article advance














In the next issue

Why do you need email etiquette? Reasons for companies to implement “netiquette” rules


No prizes, just fun (answers in next issue) 1




5 6 7


9 10

11 12

The English Scene

Your ad here?


Please ask for media data from

In and around the Rhine-Neckar area

n this section, we will include details of organisations or events, which feature the English language. We would be grateful for any hints or details from individuals or organisations to help us expand this information. Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft The Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft aims to encourage and support German-British exchange on a social, political and business level. British speakers take part in our lecture programmes. For the current lecture/ talk programme, please contact one of the email addresses quoted below. The Heidelberg branch of the DBG holds a Round Table on the last Friday of the month in the „Hutzelwald“ restaurant, Gaisbergstr. 93, 69115 Heidelberg For enquiries, contact: Nichola M.V. Hayton, M.A. ( ) OStR Renate Kinzinger ( ) David John Williams (

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German-American Institute (DAI) The German-American Institute (DAI) is a cultural institution that not only offers diverse cultural events for the public but a number of other services as well. The Cultural Programme provides information and entertainment through lectures, discussions, seminars, exhibitions, concerts, literary readings, films, theatre performances and much more. The library has an extensive collection of English-language books, magazines, newspapers, videos and DVDs. For enquiries, contact: Jakob J. Köllhofer ( ) Dr. Mehdy Naficy ( )

Or here? Please ask for media data from


Across 1. Is he a member of our tennis ___? 3. What was the score of the soccer ___? 5. Let‘s go to that snack ___. 7. Are we going to see a musical at the ___? (US Spelling) 9. Shuffle the ___, will you? 10. I just loved this crossword ___. 12. There are a lot of people in the swimming ___. 13. It‘s a card game. You bet on the value of your cards.

Down 1. Garry Kasparov is the World ___ Champion. 2. Long ___ is a nice place for our vacation. 4. There‘s a good ___ on TV tonight. It‘s a comedy. (US term) 6. Can you ___ a waltz? 8. I heard the news on the ___. 11. We can take the children to the ___ to see the animals.



hotline & translation service

IHRE TELEFONAUSKUNFT bei Formulierungen in E-Mails,

Briefen, Präsentationen oder Ähnlichem, Vokabelfragen und bei Übersetzungen INS ENGLISCHE! Sie erreichen uns Montag bis Freitag von 8:00 - 17:00 Uhr unter:

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Ein Unternehmen der Com-Unic ® Gruppe, Ihr Partner für Betriebliche Bildung Com-Unic, Waldhofer Str. 100, 69123 Heidelberg,

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28.09.2006 14:46:59

October 2006  

The Com-Unicator 2006

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