02 August, 2008

Pet peeves

Let's start with a question. What is in the air conditioning system of your car? If you answered "Freon", please leave. Let's get this straightened out right now. Freon is DuPont's brand name for their R-12 refrigerant. Anytime I'm doing air conditioning work on a truck someone will inevitably ask me "How much freon did you put in?" or "Is there any freon in there?" My answer is always "none" and "no." It annoys me to no end when people generically refer to any refrigerant as "freon." When those people are mechanics, I instantly question their abilities. Unless you have a vehicle from 1993 or older which has been pampered it's whole life, your vehicle does not, and will not, have "freon" in it. Starting with the 1994 model year vehicles, R-134a has been the standard refrigerant for vehicle air conditioning. In fact, R-12 is not produced anymore. If a 1993 or older vehicle needs air conditioning work, it will probably have been converted to an R-134a system. Don't hold your breath though. R-134a won't be around much longer. Recently, an old classmate of mine from the tech school days showed up at the shop. He's a truck driver now and brought his truck (a very nice Freightliner Classic BTW) to our shop to have the air conditioner serviced. He called later in the evening to find out how his truck was doing and asked to talk to me, since I was the one who worked on it. Long story short, he used the word "freon" and I was a little disappointed. He and I went through the same classes on mobile air conditioning and he had been working at a Ford dealership until he started trucking. Hearing him say "freon" caused me to lose faith in his abilities. If he refers to the engine in his truck as a "motor", all hope is lost.

What's with the poor spelling these days? I'm not wondering about rarely used words, but the more common words. I'm a product of the public school system and never did well in grammar, punctuation and sentence structure, but I can spell common words correctly. Don't think I'm standing on the soap box preaching about the poor state of the English language. I'm guilty as well. I ask people to correct me whenever I fuck up so I can become a better writer. I actually wish I'd paid more attention in school. Maybe it's time to go back to school.

No comments: