I am asking a recommendation letter from my mentor, and he describes me as a "fine candidate" followed by "!". I consider the word "fine" to be a very weak term, so does it mean that he only thinks of me as being an ordinary candidate?

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So it sounds like your mentor really (!) likes your work. By using "fine," it means he feels or thinks you are worthy of his approval. Depending on his status, this could be a great commendation indeed. The original word comes from the Old French fin which means perfected, of the highest quality.

Largely interpretation will depend on what other people believe the word fine means though, how familiar they are with your mentor, and the type of position for which you are setting your sights.

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