“All intensive purposes.” “Baited breath.” “Tough road to hoe.” “Free reign.” These are all common misspellings. At some point, they become common enough to be correct alternative spellings, and some may be correct even now in their own way: “Free reign,” especially, makes sense as a figurative phrase. But wise law students should be careful not to use such phrases, because whether or not they are in some metaphysical sense incorrect, they are likely to seem incorrect and annoying to many readers (including judges, partners, and other people you are trying to impress and persuade).
I’m looking for more examples to caution my students against, but I’m looking for ones that really are common enough to deserve caution. So my challenge: Which phrases can you come up with in which the incorrect (or, if you prefer, nontraditional) version gets at least 25% of the google hits that the traditional version gets?
Please post your answers below, with google’s estimated count for the incorrect version followed by the count for the correct version, e.g.,
baited breath / 309,000 / 449,000
Please keep in mind the possibility that the seemingly incorrect phrase can actually be properly used in some contexts (e.g., “key tenant” can either be a misspelling of “key tenet” or a term of art in commercial real estate), and eyeball the results to see whether they might be mostly false positives.