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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Can You Understand the 23rd Grade Level? I Can’t!

Written by  Ira Koretsky
I am going to assume that you heard or read about The International Astronomical Union (IAU) declaring Pluto a non-planet. Personally, I shrugged off the whole thing and without hesitation, will always say that I live in a solar system with nine planets (photo Nasa).

Well, Space.com recently shared an article that shows that IAU is still ready to take on the world with more controversy. The IAU added more fire to the flames by coining a new term, "plutoid," as a name for dwarf planets like Pluto. Personal note…dwarf planet is a planet right? What’s the difference you may ask?

Well, the official definition of a plutoid is:
"Plutoids are celestial bodies in orbit around the sun at a distance greater than that of Neptune that have sufficient mass for their self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that they assume a hydrostatic equilibrium (near-spherical) shape, and that have not cleared the neighborhood around their orbit."

I’m willing to bet several million dollars worth of Monopoly money that even astronomers with three PhD’s are baffled by this definition. You know what it is…a compromise. A compromise by the participants to cover ever single contingency.

And ya know what else…according to Microsoft Word’s analysis of reading level, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Score (I wrote about this score a few years ago. click here) shows 23. That means students in the 23rd grade level can understand these 48 highly confusing words. For comparison, you graduate high school at the 12th grade, college at the 16th grade, masters at the 18th grade, and PhD anywhere after 20th grade.

Author Robert Roy Britt from Space.com makes it very easy to understand: "small round things beyond Neptune that orbit the sun and have lots of rocky neighbors."

I am sure that you can figure out the communication and business storytelling lessons here!

Resources:

- Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test from Wikipedia

- Talk at the 10th Grade level, Blog Entry

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky is the president of The Chief Storyteller®, a boutique marketing and sales consulting firm. He has delighted audiences around the world helping them achieve better business outcomes and accelerate their revenue with highly effective written, spoken, and social media communications. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, columnist, consultant, and executive coach. Twitter @chiefstorytellr   youtube.com/user/IraKoretskySpeaker

Website: www.TheChiefStoryteller.com E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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