Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: shoo-in.

shoo-in. “Shoo-in” (= a candidate or competitor who is sure to win), a casualism deriving from the idea of “shooing” something (as a pet), is so spelled. Yet *”shoe-in” is a frequent error — e.g.: o “Besides being a shoe-in [read ‘shoo-in’] for the Hall of Fame, Woodson has been a model player and member of the community.” Butch Otey, “Woodson Belongs Here,” Pitt. Post-Gaz., 24 May 1997, at B3. o “Gray . . . is considered a shoe-in [read ‘shoo-in’] for re-election.” Craig Timberg, “Robey Ponders Run for Executive,” Baltimore Sun, 28 Sept. 1997, at B1. o “This move leaves James Hoffa, son of the late You-Know-Who, as a shoe-in [read ‘shoo-in’] for the upcoming vote.” “The Week That Was,” Post-Standard (Syracuse), 22 Nov. 1997, at A6. Language-Change Index — *”shoe-in” for “shoo-in”: Stage 2. *Invariably inferior forms. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Grammarians have a responsibility, not yet generally acknowledged, to address students and the general public on . . . matters of linguistic etiquette. Venturing into this minefield of controversies is a delicate task that calls for strong nerves.” Sidney Greenbaum, Good English and the Grammarian 35 (1988).
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