"deserted island"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Oct 17 13:57:29 UTC 2005

But going to a deserted island, knowing that people have left it,
does sound like a good idea to avoid being sneezed on ... by humans.


At 10/16/2005 06:22 PM, you wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
>Subject:      "deserted island"
>Current promos for Florida orange juice, paid for by the Florida
>Department of Citrus, suggest that if you don't want to drink OJ to
>ward off the flu, your next best bet is to "move to a deserted
>island" and not go near anyone for six months. (The poor boob in the
>ad who tries this gets sneezed on by a chimp anyway.)
>My students have been using "deserted island" for decades because
>they think a "desert island" has to have a desert on it. Now Google
>turns up well over half a million hits for "deserted island."
>Do I hear a whippersnapper asking, "Desert shmesert, what's the diff
>?"  The diff, whippersnappers, is that a "deserted" island used to
>have folks on it, but a "desert island" is so godawful that
>presumably it never has.
>English had better maintain this distinction if it intends to remain
>a world-class tongue.  Otherwise, the fate of Old Church Slavonic awaits.
>  Yahoo! Music Unlimited - Access over 1 million songs. Try it free.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list