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What Does Lack Of Merit Mean?

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Greg Allen answered
In order to find out what lack of merit means, it is worth taking a little time to find out what the word merit actually means. According to dictionaries and references, the official definition of merit is ’claim to respect, excellence or worth’. Merit is often used when describing the achievement of someone or something, for example, a school child often gains merit or a merit for outstanding class work, or the top earning golfer in Europe gaining the Order of Merit award (until 2009, when it was replaced with the Race to Dubai).

On that basis, if something is to lack merit or have a lack of merit, it can be assumed it is judged to be poor or not having gained respect or value. The term "lack of merit” is used in everyday life for describing a wide range of topics. In legal terms it is often claimed that a defendant’s case lacks merit by those who are listening to the evidence when then feel the defendant’s story has no worth or validity. Within popular culture, the term is often used when reviewing a new release, whether it is a new record, book or movie. A look through the daily reviews sections of the paper will often throw out the phrase "this film lacks merit and is not worth the money according those who have seen it”.

Officialdoms of the English language might point to the fact that it is not possible for something to have a lack of merit, as something can only warrant merit and to have a lack of merit is a contradiction in terms, but it is widely regarded that to lack merit means poor or lacking in quality.

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