This is a new one for me, but in Stewie Mandel‘s CNN/Sports Illustrated on-line mailbag (which is like hang-nail that I can’t avoid messing with and really should just clip off — and, incidentally, begins rather annoyingly with spoilers for the fourth season of The Office) a reader wrote in to discuss LSU’s “deep-seeded fear that [Nick Saban’s Alabama] will one day overthrow them in the SEC West.” For a moment I had the “Dear God, have I been misusing it all these years?” thought which gave way to the “well, I guess you could plant a seed deep into the ground and, assuming it didn’t die, it might spring up later on” thought. So of course I checked the fount of all knowledge not worthy of Wikipedia (which contains a lengthy article on the XFL), Google. My fears were redoubled when I found 107,000 hits for “deep-seeded.” However, since one of those hits led me to an entry convincingly arguing for the correctness of “deep-seated” on the Common Errors in English website hosted by Paul Brians in Washington State’s Department of English, I decided a could rest easily. At least until I hit the second Office spoiler two-thirds of the way through the article.
A Deep-“Seeded” Fear