de-served desserts

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sat Jan 5 18:05:49 UTC 2008

Joel S. Berson wrote:
> At 1/4/2008 08:30 PM, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>> "just desserts" has an ecdb entry:
>> (one of the comments mentions "just deserves", which doesn't yet have
>> an entry.)
>> i'm beginning to wonder whether there's any point in trying to
>> maintain the ecdb, when people don't consult it.
> Irregardless, I wouldn't have looked at the eggcorn data base since,
> in my ignorance, I have always assumed (presumably without ever
> having both read and imprinted it!) that the expression was "just desserts".
> Joel
> P.S.  It wasn't until a few days ago that, having been informed I've
> been wrong my whole life, I looked in a dictionary and found desert
> n.1., pronounced identically to dessert.

Even though I'd read about this spelling issue before, I had forgotten
about it until this thread came up. In the AHD, desert (deserved
punishment) is a completely separate entry from desert (arid land), not
simply a different meaning within a single entry.

FWIW, I did consult the eggcorn database and cited it in response to
Joel's e-mail. People who don't know they're using eggcorns are of
course not going to use it. The most recent one I personally eliminated
was "intense purposes", through stumbling on a prescriptivist's website. BB

The American Dialect Society -

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