Ruminating about the "Q" word


The English use this word emphatically in soccer commentary, as in this case: "That was a quality pass," or in this: "An effort of real quality." It's an appealing use of the word because it doesn't need a qualifier: "quality" means quality... not good quality or poor quality, simply of good value, "superiority in kind," as one dictionary says. If an object or action is worthy, it has quality. Nothing more needs to be said.

We are so used to hearing light-weight words these days, terms that have inflated meanings or deflated meanings; words whose values have changed because common usage has worn them down or they've taken on new meanings through slang (think about " wicked" or "cool" or "hot," for example). So when we hear that something has "quality," the impact of the word is heavier, grounded, certain, even reassuring. The term was chosen precisely to refer to something of real value.

I find words like "quality" to be precious. Very welcome indeed, because we could all use a bit of quality in our lives. As the saying goes... it never goes out of style.

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