Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stranded on Dessert Island


Let me start my admitting that this blog post title isn't entirely relevant, but the play on words is one that I can use to segue to a similar topic that is of some grammatical annoyance to me.

It's one o'clock in the morning and I'm "writing blog posts". That is to say, I have a few tabs open; maybe Blogger, Google Calendar, and Facebook. Another is a page about a conspiracy theory I've been reading up on, and yet another is one of those quizzes that you only take when you're a gullible teenager with nothing else to do, or maybe you're just procrastinating and you've actually done three in a row now.

Anyway, I've found myself on this quiz site, when I come across the "Which Celebrity Would You Be Stranded With On A Desert Island?" quiz and it hits me - a question that I've asked myself time and time again when I hear the words "desert island"...

Are there really that many desert islands out there, or is this just a mass grammatical error of folks intending to say "deserted island"? Perhaps people are really just curious about sandy islands specifically (as well as whom or what you might take with you if you ever find yourself traveling to one), but I always imagined that if I were ever to wash ashore in some sort of island fantasy that it'd be more likely to be highly vegetated island, however deserted that island may be.

So this is the question that's really been nagging me for awhile: the "desert island vs. deserted island" conundrum: do you say "desert", when what you mean is "deserted"? Oh, and in case you're wondering - I got Bill Nye.

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