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  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #11

    Re: desert and deserted

    Quote Originally Posted by IHIVG View Post
    Strangely though, I've checked all the dictionaries I could possibly find and all of them say that 'desert' and 'deserted' can have the same meaning.
    This is an extraordinary statement.
    If you're interested in pursuing this, perhaps you could post some references.

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    #12

    Re: desert and deserted

    I have a question regarding this. Isn't it so that the adjectival use of the word "desert" meaning simply "desolate" (not "desert-like") has good etymological grounds? I mean that it's simply a past participle etymologically, so it seems natural to me that it can be used this way. It's not a proof obviously, but something that, together with what I can see in a dictionary, makes me suspicious when I hear that it should not be used to mean it.

    PS This is from Merriam-Webseter:
    1 : desolate and sparsely occupied or unoccupied <a desert island>
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 15-Jul-2010 at 12:12. Reason: + dict entry

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #13

    Re: desert and deserted

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I have a question regarding this. Isn't it so that the adjectival use of the word "desert" meaning simply "desolate"
    Has this been established?

    (not "desert-like") has good etymological grounds? I mean that it's simply a past participle etymologically ["deserted" is a past participle; neither 'desolate' nor 'desert' are.], so it seems natural to me that it can be used this way. It's not a proof obviously, but something that, together with what I can see in a dictionary, makes me suspicious when I hear that it should not be used to mean it.

    PS This is from Merriam-Webseter:
    1 : desolate and sparsely occupied or unoccupied <a desert island>
    As a general principal, you can't say that a certain word can be used in a certain way based on etymology.

    M-W gives that "desert" can describe something that is "desolate and sparsely occupied or unoccupied". It's a subtle point, but this is different from "the adjectival use of the word "desert" meaning simply "desolate".

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    #14

    Re: desert and deserted

    I think I've been misunderstood. I'm not saying that the etymology of the word proves anything about its current use. I'm just wondering.

    It hasn't been estabilished that I can use the word "desert" to mean "desolate". I'm trying to find out whether it can or not.

    I don't see why "desolate" should be used as a noun judging by its roots. It's also a past participle that evolved, so its being an adjective seems nice and simple to me. But this is off-topic.

    I don't mean that "desert" is an English past participle. I know it isn't. But it has come from French, and it came as a past participle.

    I don't understand the difference. What is it? Also I'd like to provide another defintion. It seems to say that "desolate" and "desert" can be synonymous.
    2. Barren and uninhabited; desolate: a desert island.
    from American Heritage.

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    #15

    Re: desert and deserted

    Quote Originally Posted by IHIVG View Post
    euncu's talking Turkish, er... turkey.
    I beg your pardon but I couldn't get what you said. Was this supposed to be a joke or something? I'll be glad if you explain what it means as well as what your intention was.

  6. IHIVG's Avatar
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    #16

    Re: desert and deserted

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    This is an extraordinary statement.
    If you're interested in pursuing this, perhaps you could post some references.
    I've already posted them a page back.
    Please, look at the 3d post of this thread.

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    #17

    Re: desert and deserted

    Quote Originally Posted by IHIVG View Post
    I've already posted them a page back.
    Please, look at the 3d post of this thread.
    Those links do not say that "desert" and deserted" mean the same. "A deserted wood" yes, a wood devoid of human or animal life; "a desert wood" no, deserts do not have wooded areas.

  8. Raymott's Avatar
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    #18

    Re: desert and deserted

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I think I've been misunderstood. I'm not saying that the etymology of the word proves anything about its current use. I'm just wondering.
    Sure, I'm trying to help you solve the problem.

    I don't mean that "desert" is an English past participle. I know it isn't. But it has come from French, and it came as a past participle.
    And isn't that a good reason to say that you can't use etymology to determine how a word works?

    I don't understand the difference. What is it? Also I'd like to provide another defintion. It seems to say that "desolate" and "desert" can be synonymous.
    2. Barren and uninhabited; desolate: a desert island.
    from American Heritage.
    All I can say is that you can have a "desolate forest", but not a "desert forest".
    The definitions in a dictionary are to help you understand a word; they do not imply exact synonymy.

  9. IHIVG's Avatar
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    #19

    Re: desert and deserted

    Quote Originally Posted by euncu View Post
    I beg your pardon but I couldn't get what you said. Was this supposed to be a joke or something? I'll be glad if you explain what it means as well as what your intention was.
    I believe the intention of your previous post "Maybe you should desert this desert stuff before you get more confused." was a mere play on words.
    I decided to reply in kind.
    There's an expression 'talk turkey', maybe you could check it out if you're not familiar with it.
    I'm sorry you couldn't get it. Anyway, my intention was, as you said, no other than to make a joke.

  10. Raymott's Avatar
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    #20

    Re: desert and deserted

    Quote Originally Posted by IHIVG View Post
    I've already posted them a page back.
    Please, look at the 3d post of this thread.
    You posted one. M-W doesn't give 'desert' as an adjective.
    I'm not surprised that you found one dictionary where the one term was given as a definition of another. What surprises me is that you could find none that indicate a difference. I was hoping to understand that. But it's of no great importance.

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