Monday, July 20, 2015

desert/dessert: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Monday, July 20, 2015

Perhaps these two words are confused partly because “dessert” is one of the few words in English with a double S pronounced like Z (“brassiere” is another). That impoverished stretch of sand called a “desert” can only afford one S. In contrast, that rich gooey extra thing at the end of the meal called a “dessert” indulges in two of them. The word in the phrase “he got his just deserts” is confusingly pronounced just like “desserts.”

This is the tenth year of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.

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