People often say "Elokim" instead of "Elohim" when speaking in order to avoid taking God's name in vain. I have observed, however, that some people always substitute the word "elokim" for "elohim" even if they are not specifically talking about Hashem. For example, I have heard the posuk quoted,
לא יהיה לך אלוקים אחרים על פני
You shall have no other gods before me
I also have often heard the word "keil" substituted for "eil" when the word does not refer to God. Is this an error on the part of the person speaking, or is there some real reason why one should substitute these words?
In Likutei Sichos 22 page 453, the Lubavitcher Rebbe writes
מורגל בפי העולם לומר אלקים אחרים (בקו"ף, אף שמדובר בעבודה-זרה). ואולי יש לקשר עם פירוש הרמב"ן דברים (כא, כב) כנען כו' שחשש כו
I take this to mean that this is a widespread custom, and he makes a possible connection to something from the Ramban.
Clarification: The Ramban that is quoted comes from Ramban's commentary to Deuteronomy chapter 21, verse 22.