desist » decease
Spotted in the wild:
- Complainant issued a cease and decease letter to Respondent informing Respondent of the registration of the mark and common law rights Complainant claimed in the name “Blackmon Mooring.” (National Arbitration Forum: Steamatic, Inc. v. Hieu Nguyen)
- Valles was dragged into that controversy when he rejected a petition by miners for a temporary restraining order on a cease-and-decease order issued by Monkayo Mayor Joel Brillantes because of environmental concerns. (Philippine News Digest 25)
- It was noted that the Board had previously voted to send cease and decease letters and the Compliance Unit was directed at the meeting to immediately initiate sending letters out. (Maryland Board of Pharmacy - minutes)
A presumably deliberate use of “cease and decease” occurs in a song titled “I am somebody,” by Jurassic 5.
The relatively low frequency of “desist,” the similarity between “cease” and “decease,” and the fact that many people do not expect legal terms to make transparent sense may all be contributing factors in the genesis of this eggcorn.