Sparano Scale

Overview. The scale is a way to quantify and talk about feelings. There are four ratings to choose from. Generally, in any category of things, most are Good™ or Not Great™ (in about equal amounts), some are Not Good™, and very few are Great™.

Great™ + +
Good™ + • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Not Great™ • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Not Good™ – – • • • • •

Choosing a rating. It’s easy to identify Great™ and Not Good™ (the extremes). It can be helpful to decide between Good™ and Not Great™ (the middle choices) by thinking in terms of positive/​negative. Ratings may change over time, and that’s OK.

Usage. The scale can be used con­ver­sa­tion­ally since ratings are in plain language. Ratings with adverbs (‘really’, ‘kinda’, etc.) are equivalent to ratings without. In writing, ‘good’/‘great’ (without cap­i­tal­iza­tion or the ™) aren’t considered ratings.

“Jalapeños?” “Yow. Not Good™.”
“How’d the Huskers do?” “Not Great™.”
“Have you seen Get Out?” “Oh yeah, it was really Good™!”
“How do I look?” “Great™!”

It’s meaningful. There’s no middle choice, so all ratings hold weight. A fixed set of options means that Good™ is also, inten­tion­ally, not Great™, not Not Great™, and not Not Good™.

It’s validating. Since all four ratings are meaningful choices, the scale challenges the idea that anyone has good or bad taste.

It’s personal. Ratings aren’t about the thing being rated, exactly — they’re a way of under­stand­ing the person doing the rating. Ratings are whole­heart­edly subjective. The qualities that distinguish ratings from each other are different for everyone.

Great™s are special. They isolate the things in the world that hold the most meaning. Great™s are rare and can be collected in a single list. Every person’s list is a unique combination of their taste and experience. Collected together, Great™s reveal patterns that help us understand ourselves. And by comparing lists, we can learn more about each other.

Adaption. The four ratings can be mapped onto other scales.

5-point scale (skip the 3) . .. .
10-point scale (use 1, 4, 7, 10) . • • . • • . • • .

Updated June 7, 2017. Link to this page with sparanoscale​.com.