Example: [Collected via e-mail, December 2009]
Origins: Sometimes it doesn't matter whether you use language correctly, because people will think you're wrong even when you're not.
For example, when we established the "Crime and Punishment" section of this site, we created a category for tales about criminals whose punishments were meted out in unusual ways. Like so many others before us (particularly operators of bakeries and pastry shops), we played on the
I think your intention is to refer to metaphor using the term for after dinner snack. The way you spell it, "Desert" means a region that receives little rainfall.
A rule of thumb — Dessert has
Just wanted to point out that under your "Criminal" section, you spelled "Just Desserts" wrong. A desert is a barren expanse of land. Desserts are yummy. Just remember "strawberry shortcake" has two s' and that's how many s' desserts has!
The noun "desert" (accent on the first syllable) is generally used to refer to
Many people, unfamiliar with the "reward or punishment" meaning of the word "desert," mistakenly assume that the phrase "just deserts" is properly spelled "just desserts" because of its pronunciation. (The usual reasoning is that a dessert is a type of reward one is given at the end of a meal, so someone who receives suitable rewards or punishments for his actions has gotten his "just desserts.")
When one gets what one deserves, good or bad, one is getting one's "just deserts," accent on the second syllable but spelled like the arid, barren lands.
Last updated: 29 April 2010
The Compact Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993. ISBN 0-19-861258-3.