Maybe I don't dislike this word, but I dislike the way people use it.
Let's take a look at the dictionary:
1. to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation: to deserve exile; to deserve charity; a theory that deserves consideration.
2. to be worthy of, qualified for, or have a claim to reward, punishment, recompense, etc.: to reward him as he deserves; an idea deserving of study.
Ok so to earn something as a reward. I get that- especially when you're a child. But my problem is that although it makes sense that if your son cleans his room he deserves a piece of candy to encourage him to clean his room, as an adult, no one gives me candy for cleaning anything.
To be qualified for-- ok so I'm qualified for a job, more qualified than you. I have more experience than you, I have a better track record than you, etc. Maybe if they hire you instead of me they can pay you less, so you get hired. Hey! I deserved that job. I was qualified for it. Too freaking bad.
I guess it's an accurate word, I did deserve the job. Your son did deserve the candy. Sometimes it just doesn't matter what you deserve.
Random rant, I know. I just heard it this morning and it hits a nerve with me almost every time.