Remembering Jane Straus | May 18, 1954–February 25, 2011 | Author of the original Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation
The noun desert refers to a desolate area. As a verb, it means "to abandon."
A dessert is the final course of a meal.
Many misspell the phrase just deserts, meaning "proper punishment." In that usage, deserts is derived from deserve.
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