Thoughts deep and seedy

So you’re telling me that the phrase is “deep-seated” and not ” deep-seeded”? How could that be? “Deep-seeded” makes so much more metaphorical sense. You plant seeds deep in the ground where they are covered by dirt and time and history. In a continuing seed metaphor, deep-seeded traits can sprout up, or come to light later on. Recessive genes are deep-seeded, like red hair that skips five generations: surprise! Deep-seeded has the added bonus of sounding intentionally Freudian, alluding to wellsprings of hidden passions: your obsession for Buffy fan-fic or latent homosexuality. In contrast, what does deep-seated mean? It sounds like a transitive verb: to be deep-seated is what happens when you are swallowed bodily by a really squishy couch. 

Strangely further, I’ve had the opposite (and parallely erroneous) misinterpretation of tournament bracket seeds, which I thought were “seats”. Forgive my ignorance, dear readers, but I eschew competitive sports and the sports section in equal measure. I managed to never see the word in print until I googled it to double check just now and discovered my deep-seeded misunderstanding. In terms of brackets, “seats” are more logical than “seeds”. When two teams play, one of them is unseated from the higher-ranking position, which makes you think of a king’s throne being toppled over, which makes sense in terms of the sport-as-battle analogy. If the team were “unseeded” it sounds like they were dug up by a hungry godzilla squirrel, which is just distracting, frankly.


Previously, in misunderstandings: flawless and ruthless (part 1 and part 2)