September 04, 2014

Horse 1747 - Just Des(s)erts

On particular publication which shall remain nameless* remarked that in a recent criminal case, the knave who had been convicted was getting their "just desserts".
Oh dear.

No doubt that you will remember from your primary school or high school English classes that there is a difference between "deserts" and "desserts" and that you should know that difference. The former is an arid place with very little rain and the latter is a nice sort of dish which is usually sweet and usually comes at the end of a meal.
"Just deserts" when taken to mean an arid place is patently absurd, as is "just desserts" which seems to imply that a tasty confection is the proper reward for finishing one's meal**.

No, "just deserts" are getting what one deserves; where "desert" is the singular noun which comes from the action of deserving. The fact that they are just stems from some reckoning against a moral standard or compass.
If there are "deserts", then are there "preserts" from the verb to preserve or "conserts" from the verb to conserve? If not, why not?
Wildlife conserves speak to me of the act of putting animals in jars; given that I have seen Ram Jam, Ham Jam and Lamb Jam on sale, perhaps I'm not as stark raving bonkers as I first suspected.

The thought had crossed my mind of "Des' Desert Dessert Deserts" as some sort of reward of confection for performing some act in an arid place but without any context, I couldn't tell you if Des was handing out the reward or if he was noble enough to receive them.

Three Little Kittens who had found their mittens after previously losing them, were also apparantly deserving of pie, though as cats can not taste sweet, it doesn't make sense that they would be given desserts as just deserts***.
If I walked into a bakery looking to buy pie**** and I found just desserts, I would be well disappointed and the proprietor will have curried my disdain. They would curry my favour by selling me a pie of a similar ilk***** and their just deserts would be to have silver cross their palms.
Mind you, I am now confused about the Christmas Pie which Little Jack Horner was eating whilst he was sat in the corner. Silver sixpences and shillings were regularly snuck into plum puddings and Jack, who was a self-proclaimed "good boy" found a plum in his Christmas Pie. I don't know if his just deserts came out of a dessert or not.

On the train as I was scribbling away I noticed that a few seats over, a lady was tapping away on her tablet****** and playing Candy Crush Saga. I don't really know anything about the game other than to say that just looking at its saccharin sweet colour scheme is enough to induce diabetes amd I assume that based on its name, that there's no delicious savoury meats in that game at all; just desserts.
Curiously, the fact that I can scribble such marshmallowy fluff on the basis of just two words as inspiration, probably proves that in my mind, there aren't just deserts*******.

*I don't want to quote just two words.
**There may be an argument if the meal in question happpens to include Brussels Sprouts, as they are little green balls of terror; harvested from Hades' Half-Acre.
*** Nor is it explained how Mother Cat cam to be in possession of said pie either.
**** Your expectation of what kind of pie, shows off your cultural biases.
***** Or Elk, if we are again talking about wildlife preserves... in jars.
****** Which is too bitter a pill for me to swallow; also too big.
******* I'll leave the interpretation of those two words to you, dear reader.
******** This is certainly too many footnotes to be sensible*********.

********* And also enough to say that if you have read this far, you are getting your just deserts**********.
********** Ten Stars! If I cash them in, maybe I can buy some Christmas Pie from the perfect purveyor of pies previously mentioned.
*********** Please sir, I want some more.
************ MORE?!

1 comment:

Mike Mangan said...

What do you call death by an overdose of asterisks? An Obelisk?
This is simply Gauling.