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Just deserts

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Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 7:55 am

When we were children, our teachers would provide us with mnemonic devices to recall how to spell different words correctly. Remember the classic: “i before e except after c”? There was another such pedagogic device that I recall regarding the spelling of the words dessert and desert respectively. My teacher taught that “dessert,” that delicious final course of the meal, was spelled with two S’s because we always wanted seconds, whereas when it came to the desert or wilderness, we generally do not want more than one.

For those of us who actually live in a desert, as we do in the Valley of the Sun, this lesson may not resonate with us. After all, we have chosen to live in a dry desert climate and, in fact, many people cannot get enough of the desert. The countless hiking, biking and climbing trails bear witness to our love for dry barren lands, especially because upon close examination we recognize that the desert is of full of life, wonders and beauty.

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