Easily Confused Words: Cedar vs. Seater

Cedar and seater are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway.

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Cedar (pronounced “see-dahrr”) is a noun. It is a type of evergreen, coniferous (cone-bearing) tree with needle leaves. Cedar wood chips are used to repel moths from woolen clothes; check out other uses here.

Seater (pronounced “see-terr”) is an adjective used in auto industry jargon. It’s short for “has ____ many seats.” It is typically hyphenated with a number: two-seater, four-seater, six-seater. This term is used to describe the seating capacity of vehicles so a buyer can decide which one makes the most sense for their needs. Two-seaters often appeal to single people and couples, four-seaters and six-seaters appeal to families.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Seymour was at the car lot, trying to pick out his first new car. He was a bachelor. The salesperson nudged him towards sporty little convertible two-seaters with negligible backseats and trunks. That’s exactly what a lot of young customers wanted in their first car.

“Well, the thing is, I have a cedar canoe, a mountain bike, a surfboard, and a paddleboard, so I need something capable of carrying those things.”

The salesperson responded, “Of course. Let’s hop in the golf cart and I’ll show you our larger pickup trucks in the rear lot.”


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