When people mishear or misinterpret similar words, they tend to pass those errors along.
Some are so prevalent that they invariably catch the eyes of alert writers and editors. Others creep stealthily into text, silently snickering as they wait, poised to damage scribes’ credibility.
Be watchful for these lurking menaces:
Illicit is an adjective meaning, “not allowed by law or social conventions.” Elicit is a verb meaning, “to draw out a reply or reaction.”
Increasing numbers of speakers ignore the distinction between these words, but it remains a useful one. Imply is “to suggest indirectly.” Infer is “to draw a conclusion.”
Despite the hundreds, perhaps thousands of explanations to be found on the Web regarding the difference between these two spellings, the mistake of writing it’s for its remains the most common written error of them all.