23 October 2009

104 Ridiculous Condition Grades Invented by Amateur Booksellers

. . . There are standard terms for describing the condition of used books, dust jackets, and other paper ephemera, and then there are these. These are not standard terms. They are just some of the hundreds of ridiculous terms invented by hapless amateurs selling used books on amazon, ebay, and other giant websites. I have collected a countless assortment of these and selected just 104 of the worst. They are grouped below according to what I think they are supposed to mean. My comments are in [brackets].

Correct Term: As New

Incorrect Terms:

1. New++
[You simply cannot qualify "new" with plus signs.]

2. New - Unsold

3. New & Unread

4. Factory New
[Yes, books are manufactured, but we call the place a printer or a bindery, not a factory, thank you very much.]

5. Mint
[Books are not minted. Metal objects, like coins and toy cars, are minted.]

6. Pristine

7. Perfect

8. Can't be in better shape

9. Gift quality

10. Same-as-new

11. Excellent

12. Exceptional

13. Brand Spanking New
[Ooooh, baby!]

14. Flawless

15. Absolutely Georgous


Correct Term: Fine

Incorrect Terms:

16. Fine++

17. Fine+

18. Fine-
[If it's not Fine, don't say it's Fine. The minus mark is not helping.]

19. Near New

20. About Like New

21. Near As New

22. Near Like New

23. Virtually As New

24. Great-Close to New-Condition
[Please learn the difference between a dash and a hyphen.]

25. Never Used Almost New

26. Very Good Fine


Correct Term: Near Fine

Incorrect Terms:

27. Near Fine+++

28. Very Near Fine

29. Near Very Fine

30. Close to Fine

31. Almost Fine

32. About Fine

33. Just About Fine

34. Almost Near Fine

35. Nearly Fine

36. Slightly Better than Very Good


Correct Term: Very Good

Incorrect Terms:

37. Very Good Almost Like New

38. Over All Very Good++++ or Excellent Condition
[Don't even talk to me until you stop using more than one plus sign.]

39. Very Good+++
[See above.]

40. Near Very Good

41. Very good gently enjoyed

42. Very Good condition for being all paper and old

43. Certainly not bad


Correct Term: Good

Incorrect Terms:

44. Good Solid Copy

45. Good or Better Condition

46. Good+++
[What did I say about using too many plus signs?]

47. Good and Used

48. Perfectly usable

49. Much Better than Good

50. Pretty Good

51. About Good


Correct Term: Fair

Incorrect Terms:

52. Fair+
["Fair Plus" is Good. If it's not Good, grade it Fair.]

53. Fair-
["Fair Minus" is Poor. End of story.]

54. Fair Copy

55. Fairly Good

56. Old and beat up
[I kind of like this one. It's honest.]

57. Completely Readable

58. Reasonable Condition

59. Not in Bad Shape

60. Survived Well
[Wait a minute. Survived what, exactly?]

61. Very Acceptable

62. Acceptable+

63. Average+
[For Pete's sake, stop adding pluses to words that can't be qualified!]


Correct Term: Reading Copy

Incorrect Terms:

64. Excellent reading copy

65. Near Fine reading copy

66. Very Good reading copy

67. Good Solid reading copy

68. Great reading copy

69. Research Copy

70. Reader copy

71. Very loved

72. Used - less than standard

73. Usable

74. An OK Copy

75. Child’s copy

76. Bathtub copy
[One of my favorites. Really gets the point across.]


Correct Term: Poor

Incorrect Terms:

77. Poor+++
[How many pluses till it gets up to "Fair?"]

78. Poor++

79. Poor+

80. Very Poor

81. Very Poor-
[Hell's, bells, just throw it out.] [I mean recycle it.]

82. Near Poor

83. Extremely Poor

84. Not in the Best of Condition

85. Not That Good

86. Rough

87. Very rough

88. Incomplete

89. Marginal


Finally, a short list of amusing condition descriptions that make the book sound really great but don’t really indicate its actual condition:

90. Museum Quality

91. Display Quality

92. Hand Picked with Care

93. Never Been Read

94. Read Once Condition

95. Gently Used

96. Ultra Clean

97. Super Clean

98. Whistle Clean
[Seriously, you can say it's clean, but is it sunned, bumped, torn, water damaged, missing pages? Tell me something about the condition of the book!]

99. Clean Usable Book

100. Nice Book

101. Very Nice for its Age
[Unfortunately "for its age" is a very commonly used but completely incorrect qualifier. Old books don't get special dispensation for being old. Grade them the same way you would grade any other used book.]

102. Very Nice Clean Copy

103. Decent+
[A qualifier on "Decent?" ROFL!]

104. Very God
[Might be the cutest typo I've spotted yet.]


Please browse my bookstore

And visit my reputable colleagues http://www.tomfolio.com/

Or check out my collection of Authors with Apt Names for their Books http://tomfolio.pbworks.com/AuthorAptronyms



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