Make Do If You Must, But Don't Make Due

‘Make do and mend’ was a popular slogan during World War 2, designed to encourage people not to needlessly throw out clothing that could be repaired and repurposed. That in itself is a very Lifehacker-friendly idea, but it is not our topic today. Instead, we’re here to remind everyone that the correct expression is ‘make do’, not ‘make due’.

Picture from Ecouterre

There’s not much more to say on that point. ‘Make do’ is correct; ‘make due’ is absolute nonsense. As with the example of ‘without further ado’, the error presumably comes about when someone hears the expression and assumes the wrong spelling.

This error came to my attention when it showed up in a recent US Lifehacker article. A quick search through our archives showed it had appeared on a frankly distressing number of occasions in the past; I have now corrected all those examples. Mistakes do happen, but we can fix them. Accuracy matters.

Lifehacker’s Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.