Easily Confused Words: Cedes vs. Seeds

Cedes and seeds 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.

Cedes (pronounced “see-dz” ) is the plural form of the verb cede. It means to surrender control or power, to yield.

Seeds (pronounced “see-dz” ) is the plural form of the noun seed. A seed is unit by which plants grow. It’s the result of pollen (sperm) fertilizing another plant’s ovules.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Little Celia blew at the fuzzy head of a dandelion, making a wish. Who knew what she wished for. If it was for more dandelions, she was in luck.

As this happens, the parent dandelion cedes any control over its feathery offspring’s fates. Their little bodies float on the wind, gliding far, far away. Wherever they land, wherever they grow, it’s all up to them.