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Teri Sprackland: Journalist, Interpreter, Editor, Author

Words. Writing them, reading, sharing, correcting, improving...Finding Words. Finding the right words, fixing the wrong words. What more could any journalist want? Figure out what's happening and tell the world. Tell the story so your readers feel the fascination, the conflicts, the events happening around us.

   I have had such a blast, reporting on international trade disputes, arguments about tax havens and money laundering, following the developments within high tech, on energy, on the world's agribusiness, on futures and commodities, and the invention of clever ways to turn silicon into money, semiconductors into massive fortunes, and the black gold of oil into greenbacks. Words tell the story, fill in the picture, move people to action, and create our future.

   Watch. Observe. Describe. Share what you find out. I once described my job as finding out what business is doing and telling the rest of the world. Sometimes it's important that secrets be shared, that cabals be exposed to the hot glare of publicity, that we all get a fighting chance to participate as equals in our world. And business, like it or not, shapes our world more quickly than any other force. The top one percent live in the same world we do, but must be reminded that they are never above the law.

   Put a lot of words together and you have ...a language. English is not the only important language in the world, although it has become the lingua franca of business. Lingua franca...See how even a dead language like Latin survives to infuse meaning? Every language is important. Every word matters.

Languages are my lifetime fascination. In addition to many years in the trenches of business journalism, I have been a court interpreter, using English, French and Dutch. I have done simultaneous interpreting, where you give the speaker a head start of a phrase or maybe even a sentence, and then you sprint along, keeping pace, creating meaning without distortion, while never actually knowing where your speaker is headed! It's a high wire act with no net. Now, consecutive interpreting, that gives you a chance to hear the speaker's thoughts before you give your verbal transcription. But don't leave anything out, and don't add anything that wasn't in the original statement. Go for it. You only risk total humiliation if you screw up.

   Ah, adrenalin. What would we do without it?