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May 1983

Statistical Concepts and Proper Use-Reply

Author Affiliations

Los Lunas Hospital and Training School Box 1269 Los Lunas, NM 87031

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(5):503-504. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140310081024

In Reply.—Professor Smouse's comments are reassuring in the sense that close reading of the article did not disclose to him any major distortions. I knew that the didactic and condensed format would, sooner or later, light a fire under a statistician. I would like to respond to Professor Smouse's technical points, taking the last one first, ie, " . . . a statistician's review for technical correctness."

Statisticians, like other professionals, do not always concur in technical matters; Professor Smouse implies that another statistician would agree with his view of "correctness." My statistical consultants, and several textbooks, do not entirely support his technical objections. Let me respond to the "nagging technical errors."

First, there is the median. Professor Smouse says my definition is wrong. According to Anderson et al," . . . the median is the value of the middle item . . . . "1(p31) Bahn uses the phrase middle value in four places.2(pp38, 96, 104, 210) In another textbook, McClave