The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Gretchen Keefer.
Dessert is luscious, and often “sickeningly sweet” — hence the two “ss” in dessert.
The desert is too dry to support more than one “s.”
Shift the accent on desert – the place – and you have desert, the action.
The legionnaire de-SER-ted his post in the DES-ert.