Another confusion that has been brought to my attention recently is the phrase “last-ditch effort”. Some speakers are now bringing it out of the dirt, cleaning it up, and taking it for “last-stitch effort”.
The metaphor here comes from the military and refers to a stand in the last trench. Thomas Jefferson wrote of “a government . . . driven to the last ditch by the universal call for liberty.” It is interesting to note that the phrase seems to be dying out but the adjective, last-ditch, clings on to life. Well, we need to cling on to both of them.