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MERITOCRACY

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MERITOCRACY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:51 pm

• meritocracy •

Pronunciation: mer-ri-tah-krê-si • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: Governance by people chosen on the basis of merit, for their competence rather than birth, wealth or other criteria.

Notes: This word, parallel to democracy, comes with the full panoply of derivational forms as that word. A meritocracy is meritocratic governance conducted meritocratically by meritocrats. (Forgive the redundancy: it's the only way I can get the noun, adjective, and adverb forms all in one sentence.) All organizations aspire to be meritocratic. The only problem is that we have differing opinions of what is meritorious.

In Play: The dream of everyone is a meritocratic government: "If Congress were based on meritocracy, there would be only a handful of members." A merciful meritocracy in the workplace is crucial for a successful business. This isn't always the case, though: "Gladys Friday certainly wasn't promoted to vice president meritocratically."

Word History: Today's Good Word is English merit + -ocracy, a combining form indicating a particular form of governance. English merit is Old French merite with only the silent E trimmed off. Old French inherited this word from Latin meritum "reward, merit," based on the past participle of meriri "to earn, deserve". Other related words based on the same root include emeritus, the title bestowed upon retired professors (ex "out of" + meritus "reward") and meretricious "gaudy, flashy, like a woman who gets what she deserves, that is, a prostitute". Finally, there is turmeric (don't forget the first R). Turmeric came to Middle English as termeryte from Old French terre-merite "earth's reward". (William Tupy certainly merits our gratitude for suggesting today's very Good Word.)
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:38 pm

This, to me, seems a totally utopian form of government
and completely impossible to attain.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:04 pm

Well, obviously it's obtained here on AA by its posters!
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:58 pm

Well, we are a pretty meritorious group, for sure.
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Postby bamaboy56 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:33 pm

A government whose leaders are chosen on merit alone? Oh, if only! Seems like I usually wind up doing my best to stay informed and then having to choose the lesser of two evils.
Be who you are and say what you feel in your heart. Because those that matter, don't mind. And those that mind, don't matter.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:35 pm

I cannot ever remember an election where I did not
vote for any but the 'lesser of two evils'. Very
sad commentary.
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Postby bamaboy56 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:00 am

Sad but true.
Be who you are and say what you feel in your heart. Because those that matter, don't mind. And those that mind, don't matter.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:11 pm

Yes, sad but true.
And the way this one is going I feel many will be voting
with that principle in mind. Again sad.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:36 pm

I find it easier if someone is running for a second or third term. Then I can more readily evaluate his/her ability in that office. Problem with presidency is that there is NO experience directly relevant to that office except being president. Theoretically, all should be better the second time around, but this is seldom true. This also applies to governors to a lesser degree.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:46 pm

Makes good sense. Presidents have to prove themselves,
and don't have much time to do it. Governors have often
been in some other state job, tho not always, but it
helps if they have been.
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