Vail Chamber director reflects on a tragedy, wonders about words |

Vail Chamber director reflects on a tragedy, wonders about words

Richard tenBraakVail, CO, Colorado

Thoughts on a tragedy, words about words===========Vail Chamber bug – Rich tenBraak mug=============There was a very sad incident at Beaver Creek last weekend. A young girl visiting with her family lost her life while enjoying a sport many of us love and what probably originally brought us to the area.The one bright spot, if one can call it that, is that her organs have been donated to help several people in need. While I can’t imagine nor pretend to feel the anguish her family must feel, I support and encourage their decision. At times in our lives we need to pause and reflect on what our choices and actions may have on others. I have a donor card and end-of life documents to direct my desires after passing on. While this isn’t “over dinner” conversation material, I strongly recommend that you speak with your loved ones and determine ahead of time your final wishes and how you would like them carried out. There is no time like the present.On a little more jovial note, Webster’s defines the word “word” as: something that is said; the text of a vocal musical composition; a brief remark or conversation. I read an interesting article the other day by Dr Denis Waitley. It was about how many words the average person uses in their vocabulary. Dr. Waitley suggests that, “Regardless of education, most people use only about 400 words in more than 80 per cent of their everyday conversation. Although there are over 450,000 words in an unabridged English language dictionary, we use the same words over and over again.”That’s all that we use? It’s got to be much more than that. So off to research more information I go. As I was searching, I came across some more interesting statistics: An average person knows about 12,000 to 20,000 words, while a highly educated person will know 20,000 to 25,000 words. One source claimed Shakespeare used more than 30,000 words and had a vocabulary of over 66,000 words! We have now determined that I’m no Shakespeare.As I continued to look up more information, I came across another statistic that claimed the average male speaks 6,073 and female speaks 8,805 words per day. That equates to the average person speaking over 370 millions words in a lifetime. My jaw hurts just thinking about that one.So, who are all these “average” people in these statistics? Again, back to Webster’s and average is defined as; a single value (mean, mode or median) that summarizes or represents the general significance of a set of unequal vales.So next time someone refers to something as average, ask, is it half as capable as Shakespeare? Is it an approximation to an arithmetic mean? So much for being average, because everyone I know or anyone reading this is well above average.Above average customer service is what our visitors expect when coming to Vail. Premier Impressions which rewards outstanding customer service, is supported by the Vail Chamber & Business Association, Vail Resorts and the town of Vail and rewards employees for great customer service. With only a few more weeks to go, even a few choice words can go a long way in turning an average stay into an above-average experience.The Vail Chamber & Business Association is the leading business advocacy group in Vail and is a communications outlet for businesses that want to have a voice in community affairs. To find out more about the Vail Chamber and what it has to offer, call 970-477-0075 or e-mail Based in Vail Village, our office is located in the transportation center and our doors are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stop by and say hello!Richard tenBraak is Executive Director of the Vail Chamber & Business Association.

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