Merit  

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“When opportunities are known to be unequal, and the selection clearly biased towards wealth or lineage, people can comfort themselves for failure by saying that they never had a proper chance – the system was unfair, the scales too heavily weighted against them. But if the selection is obviously by merit, this source of comfort disappears, and failure induces a total sense of inferiority, with no excuse or consolation; and this, by a natural quirk of human nature, actually increases the envy and resentment at the success of others.”--The Future of Socialism (1956) by Anthony Crosland

The Experts (1837) by Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps
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The Experts (1837) by Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
  1. A claim to commendation or a reward.
  2. A mark or token of approbation or to recognize excellence.
  3. Something deserving or worthy of positive recognition or reward.

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Etymology

From Middle English merite, from Old French merite, from Latin meritum (“that which one deserves, just deserts; service, kindness, benefit, fault, blame, demerit, grounds, reason, worth, value, importance”), neuter of meritus, past participle of mereō (“I deserve, earn, gain, get, acquire”), akin to Ancient Greek μέρος (meros, “a part, lot, fate, destiny”). Pronunciation

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Merit" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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