Our ears can play tricks on us. Remember when you (and I) thought duct tape was duck tape? (Who would ever tape a duck?)
Here are some more phrases you might be saying and writing incorrectly:
• Hear, hear! It’s not Here, here! You really are saying, “I hear you and agree with you.”
• Free rein, not free reign. No royalty involved. If you give someone free rein, it’s like giving a horse freedom to gallop without a rider pulling back on the reins.
• Heartrending, not rendering. Rending is like breaking, such as in a heartrending sob, as if one’s heart were broken in two.
• Statute of limitations, not statue. A statute is akin to a law. In some cases, you have a certain time within which you must bring charges. It does not involve equestrian statues in the park.
• Shoo-in, no fancy footwear involved. If you shoo a mosquito away, you’re likely waving your hand to make that nuisance disappear quickly. If Eliza is a shoo-in for class president, she’s got a clear, easy shot at the position, as if her supporters are pushing her into it.