The English language is a harsh mistress. With its words of many origins and ever-evolving nature, it's no wonder even the most ardent word nerd can get confused.
As writers, we all make mistakes. It’s part of the learning process. This post is to highlight some of the errors yours truly has made, in hopes that others may avoid those same pitfalls. I’ll add to this post as circumstances, and my own growth as a writer, dictate.
Deep Seated versus Deep Seeded
Here’s a boo boo I’ve definitely made. You might think seeded would be the way to go. It evokes a sense of things sunken, embedded. Yet seated is the correct option. Deep-seated refers to something fixed in place, hence a “deep-seated rivalry” is correct. Have a seat, rather than plant a seed.
Bated versus Baited
While I know the answer to this one, I have seen this error so many times it’s worth bringing up. Baited means to lure someone or something. You bait a hook, you might bait someone into an argument. Bated is the opposite of abate, which means to diminish. To await something with bated breath means you are anxious, on the edge of your seat. Baited breath? Only is you ate a clove of raw garlic and want to lure your lover in for a stinky smooch as a practical joke.
Any other common misconceptions? Share them in the comments.