Song lines, childhood jumprope chants, catchy commercial jingles and tantalizing titles pop up randomly in my thinking, sometimes with an identifiable hook, sometimes not.
There is one taunting me at the moment in response to news on the net, radio and in print. It’s a phrase I don’t think I’ve ever written or read; I’ve only heard it though I don’t recall the particulars. My parents and grandparents used similar comments.
JUST DESERTS. That’s it. It refers to deserved consequences, and though it is normally used in a negative way it can describe merited rewards, too. It mimics ‘karma’ we hear so much about these days in the negative, though karma can also be a positive.
Don’t try to tell me I have misspelled it.(I thought that first as well). It IS pronounced like the chocolate cake we eat at the end of a meal, but this word that entered the English from the French in the thirteenth century stubbornly refused the second ‘s’ because of its derivation. JUST DESERTS is probably the only use that remains.
Perhaps Larry Nassar is receiving just deserts with a 175-year prison sentence, if one can consider ANY sentence just enough for his crimes.