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The Dreaded “Q” Word

Jessica Dragone

It’s everywhere – in print, on TV and in everyday conversation. Every single time I see it or hear someone use it, I shudder. I’m talking about the word “quality”. I’d bet you probably never thought twice about using it before. I’m here to help change your perspective.

To this day, it blows my mind that corporations and businesses use the word “quality” to pitch just about anything and everything. It’s a lazy word so overused that it’s become meaningless. It’s also subjective. If I told co-workers that I had a “quality pizza” last night, they would all have a different perception. Was it extra cheesy? Topped with fresh pineapple? No one would know what I meant unless I described exactly why I thought my pizza was so “high quality”.

Characteristics, traits, convenience, reliability – all of these fall under the “quality” umbrella. Using the “Q” word to describe or explain something is essentially the easy way out. To explain the characteristics or traits of something, one should…well…explain the actual characteristics or traits of that thing. Phrases like “quality service” or “high quality products” are empty shells.

So, why don’t companies use more accurate adjectives? Take Wendy’s for instance – love their food – don’t love their slogan. “Quality is our Recipe.” What does that even mean? Their beef is always fresh and never frozen. That’s a powerful proposition. Why not use that to sell their hamburgers?

Long story short, I will always cringe when I hear the dreaded “Q” word. I hope this post was of high enough quality to convince you of my point.


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