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I’ve posted a couple of rants about misuse of words and phrases. On the Language Log blog they call this sort of misuse an eggcorn which is a a kind of word creation due to a mishearing that a glance at the written form would normally have corrected. I guess I can accept that explanation for casual misuse of a phrase. And it’s true that it’s harder to look up a cliche or phrase that you misheard (such as “baited breath”) than it is to find the correct spelling of a word. But when you use a phrase llike this in written communication, you really ought to know how to use it correctly. If you’re unsure, look it up. If you can’t find a reasonable definition, don’t use it.

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