The citizens of the US are going through the seemingly
never-ending process of selecting their presidential candidates. And the potential candidates seem unsure about whether America is the best or worst country on earth.
How authentic should we be? That was the topic I discussed in Zurich
this past weekend at the 32nd annual conference of the English Teachers
Association Switzerland (ETAS). And this answer was: not very authentic.
Imagine that you buy an object and, within a month, you sell it for a
profit of ten per cent without having to do any work. Sounds like apretty good bit of business, eh? But it isn't necessarily, as I
discovered to my cost.
At the start of this year, I did something that I am vaguely embarrassed about. I spent considerable time and money on a much-hyped film saga and afterwards felt strangely dissatisfied. But all's well that ends well.
As you look back on the events of 2015, what is your verdict? Good year? Bad year? Average year? Everyone
will have their own view on this, but what strikes me in particular is
that it has been a year of increasing uncertainty.
At this time of the year, many people are feeling, well, just a little bit stressed. Christmas is around the corner and there is also much to do at work. No wonder the "P-word" is in the air: pressure.
This past week, I've been reminded of the words of a traditional Scottish song. But the reason wasn't anything Scottish but rather — sad, I know — the interest rate policies of the central
banks in the eurozone and the US.
As a wearer of glasses for short-sightedness, I have never thought of
myself as someone with 20/20 vision. But this past weekend, I was
invited to gaze into the year 2020 at a meeting of language experts in Graz.