Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Dessert Desert

The Dessert Desert via Melinda Rose 3D

I love this article by Liz Bureman, which highlights why English can be such a pain-in-the-arse language:

Yes. Deserts. Spelled like the arid home of the cactus. Pronounced like chocolate cake. My brain exploded... 

  • Desert is used when you’re talking about Death Valley/the Sahara/the Negev,
  • Dessert is used when you’re deciding between coconut cream pie and peach cobbler,
  • And all of the above is thrown out the window when you use the phrase “just deserts”, because it’s spelled like the first, and pronounced like the latter.

The one that always astounds me is blond/e, which has got to be one of the only masculine v. feminine nouns in the English language? Blond for male, blonde for female. 

For someone who's homonymincally challenged at the best of times, this feels like it was deliberately invented just to trip me up.

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