I thought there were pronounced distinctly differently (long e for descent; short i for dissent) until I read this accidental in a text by Andrew Steves.
Nonconformist publishers can be put at a considerable competitive disadvantage if their choice to exercise descent [sic] and develop alternative approaches is interpreted by a funding agency, jury or mega-retailer as unprofessional or retrograde, but they might be spared the indignities of engaging in activities which could turn out to be both financially and culturally ruinous.
Andrew Steves. “The Fetish for Picture Jackets” Smoke Proofs: Essays on Literary Publishing, Printing & Typography.
I like the cognitive pull between the two homonyms. Descent carrying on a heritage and dissent deviating from some custom. As singular as the cover where “smoke proof” is pluralized only through sharing the last letter of the author’s name.
And so for day 2578