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Posts Tagged ‘words’

I just learned a new word-related thing and thought I’d share. The correct phrase is “just deserts” not “just desserts.”

Despite its pronunciation, just deserts, with one s, is the proper spelling for the phrase meaning “the punishment that one deserves.” The phrase is even older than dessert, using an older noun version of desert meaning “deserved reward or punishment,” which is spelled like the arid land, but pronounced like the sweet treat.

— ‘Just Deserts’ or ‘Just Desserts’? | Merriam-Webster*

I always thought this term was a food reference. Shows how my mind works.

And now that I know I was wrong, I can start being right. Learning stuff is great.

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* So wait, no “dessert” before the 16th century? Dark ages indeed;)

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The SFWA is about to announce this year’s candidates for the Nebula Awards, but that’s not happening until tonight. Until then, you might be interested in checking out the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction.

How we talk about the future shapes our ideas of what’s possible, and shapes our approach to getting there. (“Cyberspace” wasn’t a term until William Gibson thought it up, and it moved from the page to the everyday.) Started by a (now former) editor at the Oxford English Dictionary, this site has been spun off into an updated, standalone resource. 

Want more background information?

A Dictionary of Science Fiction Runs From Afrofuturism to Zero-G

(Just want to browse classic pulp magazines? You can do that too, at the Pulp Magazine Archive.)

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“One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist… Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.” 

― Stephen Hawking

The dictionary is still a work in progress. It’s not comprehensive and doesn’t always reflect the diverse nature of science fiction. Want to help it do a better job of representing all of sci-fi?

Editor Jesse Sheidlower is looking for volunteers.

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