A popular view of quality is that it is an intangible trait ”it can be discussed, felt, and judged, but cannot be weighed or measured. To many people, quality is similar to what a federal judge once commented about obscenity: "I know it when I see it." Terms such as good quality, bad quality, and quality of life exemplify how people talk about something vague, which they don't intend to define. This view reflects the fact that people perceive and interpret quality in different ways. The implication is that quality cannot be controlled and managed, nor can it be quantified . This view is in vivid contrast to the professional view held in the discipline of quality engineering that quality can, and should, be operationally defined, measured, monitored , managed, and improved.
Another popular view is that quality connotes luxury, class, and taste. Expensive, elaborate, and more complex products are regarded as offering a higher level of quality than their humbler counterparts. Therefore, a Cadillac is a quality car, but a Chevrolet is not, regardless of reliability and repair records; or, a surround-sound hi-fi system is a quality system, but a single-speaker radio is not. According to this view, quality is restricted to a limited class of expensive products with sophisticated functionality and items that have a touch of class. Simple, inexpensive products can hardly be classified as quality products.