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 will be 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 Brad’s Status?” “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 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.

It’s validating. All four ratings are always equally meaningful choices, and the scale challenges the concepts of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ taste.

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 October 4, 2017. Link to this page with