Whenever I come across an unusual misspelling, I do a search to see how common it is. This misspelling of in lieu of caught my attention:
…so i can run keynote in leu of having to use powerpoint.
A Google search for “in leu of” brought up about 23,600,000 hits.
The bank is asking if we would like to do a deed in leu of foreclosure.
I was told I could take jail time in leu of the fine.
Hair flower in leu of a veil
Anyone ever use duct tape in leu of rim tape?
How long can I leave potatoes in the ground? (in leu of storage)
To be fair, most of these examples are from forums and comments. Google does ask “Did you mean in lieu of?”
The expression came into English from French en lieu de, “in place of,” from the Latin phrase in loco, “in place of.” Our English word instead is a calque of these foreign expressions. It was written as two words, in stead, until the 17th century.
Stead means “place,” as in homestead.
Bottom line: If you’re not sure how to spell in lieu of, you can use instead of instead.