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Proper Noun Tautologies

Tautologies in names are pretty funny, like the Sahara Desert, which basically means “Desert Desert,” or the country of East Timor, which in Malay means “East East.” This is part of a complete episode.

Lush Desert Islands

Many desert islands don’t look like a desert at all. They’re lush and green. That’s because the term reflects the old sense of desert meaning “wild and uninhabited.” This is part of a complete episode.

Silent S in Island

If you were stranded on a desert island, wouldn’t you get to thinking how odd it is that we don’t pronounce the s in island? It was added during the Renaissance in an attempt to make the word look more like its Latin source, insula. This...

desert cooler

desert cooler  n.— Note: Wikipedia has a decent entry for this type of air conditioner. Collins is the only mainstream dictionary publisher to include the term, but does so with an outdated definition: “a cooling device in which air is...

Vegas throat

Vegas throat  n.— «The singer has had to cancel several shows in recent weeks because of bronchitis. Her publicist says the condition was brought on by the dry air in the desert, along with all the heavy air conditioning in the hotels and...