Michael: What are you doing, Billy? Your desk looks like a disaster zone.
Billy: I have a spare half-an-hour, so I thought I would organize my business cards.
Michael: I have never really understood what the point of name cards is.
Billy: Business cards have a long history and many, many uses.
Michael: They might be good for you, but I am a hermit and never meet new people.
Billy: If you worked in sales and marketing like me, you would find that names cards areindispensable.
Michael: Maybe. But I don't think I need a small piece of paper to help people remember who I am.
Billy: That's probably true. I think that most people would try, but not be able to forget you!
1) Disaster zone: a place that has been hit by a bomb or other very large accident
ex: My mother said that my bedroom looked like a disaster zone, so my dad made me clean it up.
2) Hermit: a person who lives alone and never talks with people
ex: Some days I dream of being a hermit and leaving all of the hassles of modern life behind me.
3) Concocted: made or invented
ex: I concocted a new alcoholic drink at the party last night, but I drank too many of them and now my head hurts.
4) Aristocrat: a member of the upper class of society
ex: The idea of social classes really makes me sick - I don't understand why aristocratstreat poor people so badly.
The French claim that visiting cards first appeared in their land in the seventeenth century while the Chinese seek to prove that visiting cards were invented by their ancestors shortly after they had concocted explosive powder. However, the first ever known sample of a visiting card, dating back to 1786, was found in Germany. Gradually, with the development of certain rules of use, the cards had become common by the nineteenth century.
Do you know which corner of a visiting card you must fold when leaving it with a footman in order to indicate that you have called on to inquire after the master's health? No? Neither do I, but only a hundred years ago this knowledge was as vital for an aristocrat as dancing and polite conversation.
Visiting cards used to be an indispensable attribute of the etiquette and the rules of their use were as sophisticated as those of cutlery. At that time visiting cards belonged to the notions of such consequence like title, rank, land, horses etc.
First businessmen used their cards as marks of distinction and thus introduced the firstmodifications in their design. Later, as the growing demand for the cards boosted the development of the printing industry, more and more sophisticated card design patterns appeared.
On the other hand, there appeared an ever-growing social group of private entrepreneurs who had a constant need to exchange their contact information. Thesepragmatic people started to print out their own cheaper business cards to give them at presentations, exhibitions, conferences etc.
In the modern business card design, with its developed professional conventions, one can still detect the two conflicting approaches, the fanciful and the functional one. The purpose of the first approach is to show that there is nothing impossible for the card's owner. The more striking by its design and materials and the more sophisticated in its manufacturing technology, the card will be the better. What matters is the card's uniqueness. The content of the card does not matter much either.
The other approach, on the contrary, emphasizes functionality. It is the one that rules in the pragmatic West. And the English name of the item - "business card"- also focuses on its specific functionality. These cards are essential for those company workers that interact with clients. That is why, on the one hand, you can see a small clerk, a service engineer or even a heaver with his own business card and a head of the department without such if he or she does not interact with clients.
Business cards used to be made exclusively of stiff paper (card), but today come in materials from plastics to thin metals and even glass! A name or business card reflects the owner - it should represent visually the company or the person passing it. Take the time to have a closer look at your own cards and decide if they really suit you and your company.
Jeff: Can I have one of your business cards please, Joan?
Joan: I thought that I already gave you one?
Jeff: You did, but someone stole my card organizer recently.
Joan: So you have lost all of your contacts?
Jeff: No, I was lucky. I always make a copy of the name cards that I receive.
Joan: That is a good idea. I lost some name cards last year and now I can't call some of my clients.
Jeff: So will you give me a new name card?
Joan: Sure, but try not to lose this one!