Randoms, Young Adult Life

Quantity vs. Quality: a Question of Ethics

Hello, I hope you’re all having a wonderful Wednesday! Today I want to talk about quantity versus quality. Have you heard the debate before? It’s a big question—even if it’s not incredibly vital—and I’d love to explore it with you today! Oh, sorry, what was that? What do those two q-words mean, you inquire? And why do they matter at all? I’m glad you asked! 😉

What Do “Quantity (Qty)” and “Quality (Qlty)” Mean?

Quantity concerns the number and/or magnitude of a product, service, or other.

Synonyms: amount; total. Used in a sentence: He was shocked by the great quantity of sand on the seashore.

Quality concerns the state of a product, service, or other. If you purchase a brand-new shirt, but it comes with holes and stains, the quality is really low. If the fabric is perfect, it looks just right, and it’s durable, the quality is really high.

Synonyms: state; standard. Used in a sentence: She slammed the door of her car as she turned the ignition. Feeling like she was going to throw up, she pressed down on the pedal hard. That restaurant served the poorest quality sub-sandwiches ever.

What’s the Difference Between the Two?

The biggest comparison I can think of between quantity versus quality is McDonald’s versus Culver’s (you had to bring up the restaurant rivalry, didn’t you, Danny-boy?). Side Note: Another very similar comparison is KFC vs. Chick-Fil-A.

McDonald’s is HUGE. There are around 35,000 McDonald’s sites worldwide, in over 100 countries. Culver’s, however, has roughly only 800 sites, all of them in the US, and most in the Midwest.

Everyday, McDonald’s has to make thousands upon thousands of burgers—that is mass production, right there. Culver’s daily demand is much less. Culver’s can spend more on making their burgers more tasty and healthy, while McDonald’s is just grinding out as much as it can for mass appeal.

Culver’s products taste so much better than McDonald’s ones, in my opinion.  Culver’s triumphs in quality. McDonald’s is the sure winner of quantity, feeding thousands of people every day, all day. Shoot, even Culver’s website and buildings look much nicer! (Honestly, I’m much more of a Chick-Fil-A fan myself. My stomach can’t even handle McDonald’s. 😅)

Make sense?

Funny thing, McDonald’s basically started out as your local burger place. Their food probably tasted better then than they do now, since they could focus harder on smaller amounts.

A more abstract definition of qty vs. qlty is the stars vs. the moon. Sure, plenty of stars are actually bigger and brighter than the moon, but I’m talking about the perspective here on Earth. The moon appears much brighter and bigger than every star in the sky.

On a clear, country night, however, all the stars together are roughly the size of the moon. [Disclaimer: that was an assumption. I live in Chicago where planes outnumber the few stars visible, so I don’t know much about the real night sky. 😛] There is a great quantity of stars, but the shine of the moon provides much more useful light (greater quality).

Pros and Cons of Qty and Qlty

Pros of Quantity:

  • Lots of products for lots of people.
  • A single product is made (therefore available) very quickly.
  • A single product is cheap to make and buy—especially when bought in bulk.

Cons of Quantity:

  • Being made so hastily, a product might easily not last long or be very effective.

Pros of Quality:

  • A single product does what it’s meant to do efficiently.

Cons of Quality:

  • A product costs quite a bit.
  • A product is not as quickly made or available.
  • There are often not enough products for every person.

Now, this makes it seem like quantity is the better option. Yet really, I think the con of qty and the pro of qlty are significant enough to match up with their reverses. Plus, it’s 10 pm and my brain can’t come up with anything better. 😆 If yours can, please, let me know in a comment!

Why Do They Even Matter?

It’s in the every-day decision. When you’re driving through town, choosing between the expensive but tasty and healthy restaurant or the quick, cheap one. When you have a cut, and have to choose between a few less sustainable band-aids or the last one of the durable bandages.

For readers, it’s the decision between that single, really great book or the lasting, decent series. For authors, though it’s not their choice: would they rather have written several fairly popular books or that one ground-breaking, globally popular novel?

The clothes you have could be made via unjust means, but the fair-trade attire may be too expensive for you. It’s not a life or death thing, I don’t think. But it still matters. It’s just another one of those questions of ethics that define how our daily lives look like.

Which will you choose?


Thanks so much for reading this very random post! Consider it my non-fiction pleasure writing of the month. 😁 Hope it was thought-provoking!

What do you think of this little graphic of mine?