Recently, a client was struggling with a portion of a tagline I had created for his company. He took issue with the phrase incomparable craftsmanship; he simply didn’t cotton to the adjective incomparable.
So I offered alternatives: Exceptional. Masterful. Consummate. Uncommon. High-caliber. Expert.
“How about quality?” he countered. “What do you think of quality craftsmanship?”
Well, he asked, so I was obliged to answer.
To be frank [but don’t call me Shirley], I’ve got a slight writer’s hangup with quality used on its own as an adjective.
Quality is primarily a noun, meaning a characteristic, property or attribute; alone, it says nothing about whether the characteristic, property or attribute is positive or negative. It just is.
Through common usage, quality has evolved into an adjective, used to connote high or good quality.
But when I read simply Quality craftsmanship – rather than High-quality craftsmanship or Top-quality craftsmanship – it feels purposely fudge-y to me, because quality can go either way.
The bottom line for me is, I believe it’s a weak word, where there are much stronger, clearer options available.
So, what are your thoughts on quality? Do you think it’s enough of a descriptor on its own?
I’m curious whether I’m on my own on this one!!