Report Cards and Nonsense

Big week at the Edwards’ house – mid-term report cards are in. Though it seems to be different from when I was a kid. When (If) I brought my report cards home I was wrecked with anxiety, suddenly no-where-to-be-found, suddenly smarter than my report card displayed, and scarcely remorseful. My kids, however, proudly hand them to me in anticipation of my reaction – and isn’t it the best to see your kid glowing after honoring them for a job well done.

But my youngest son’s report card was unusual. Since someone has determined he is too young to actually be compared to other students, he is rated in performance categories. I learned he is particularly adept in the category of “Nonsense Word Fluency” – yes that’s right “Nonsense Word Fluency.”

Whew, what a load off that is! My days of lamenting about my child making no sense whatsoever are over. He was simply honing his skills. Here is the low-down on the “Nonsense” test…The student is given 1 minute to produce as many letter sounds as they can when given a list of nonsense words.  The student reads randomly ordered VC (vowel-consonant) and CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) nonsense words (sim, lut, taf).  They are to produce verbally the individual letter sound of each letter or verbally “read” the whole CVC nonsense word.  For example, if the word is “sim” the student would say “/s/ /i/ /m/”, say the onset “/s/” and the rhyme “/im/”, or say the whole word “sim”.  The benchmark goal is 30 correct sounds per minute in fall, 50 correct sounds per minute in winter, and 63 correct sounds per minute in spring.

Why in the world real words are not used is beyond me, but the staff in the educational community are quick to point out their superior methods and impunity are unmatched. In any case my son and I are working on an entirely new nonsense language, it worked out well for us this morning…

     I greeted him at breakfast just this morning with, “Gak nim hom son”. He smiled and replied “Sut mir flob dad”.
     I know, I know – it brought a tear to my eye as well. Such a warm embrace between parent and child is priceless. It reminds me of this scene…

It also reminds me of the variety of ways which companies express their performance information, some of it nonsense. One EXAIR competitor shows all of their air nozzle information at 100 PSIG inlet pressure, similar to EXAIR’s performance at 80 PSIG inlet pressure. But the almost impossible to find information about how they tested the nozzles explains that the hose and fittings used results in a 30 PSIG pressure drop, meaning the real inlet pressure is 70 PSIG and the numbers shown at 100 PSIG are significantly lower than if you actually had 100 PSIG at the nozzle. Does that sound like nonsense?

Another competitor who shows air nozzle performance identifies the air consumption, but without any pressure value. And since pressure and consumption are directly related you really must know the pressure. It turns out the pressure used is 72 PSIG, but it is again buried in the back of the catalog. More nonsense.

And though it is fun to speak nonsense with your son at breakfast, it is not fun to deal with nonsense from a vendor. You want and need the information right up front and clear so you can make an educated decision, without getting a product which performs differently than what you expected.

EXAIR publishes real performance values for all of our products, no tricks or buried information – No Nonsense. And the best thing we can offer as far as a report card are customer testimonials. Let us know if we can help you as well.

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer

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