Fortunately, rain is usually safe. Reign and rein, however… Oh. Boy.
I am always running into this word confusion, and it makes me nuts. How can one possibly confuse ruling with restraint? Let alone the obvious that rulers have rarely been known for restraint…*eye roll*… As it is, I am doing my best to rein in my ire over this reign of confusion that is raining down all over me!
|Explore the differences:|
|Raining in your voice
I dunno. You’re making a gargling sound? Spitting?
|Reigning in your voice
Dude, you rule with that voice of yours!
|Reining in your voice
Holding back on showing your true voice.
|He took up the rains of government.
I suppose you could interpret “rains” as the money that seems to shower all over pork barrel projects.
|He took up the reigns of government.
Whoa. Impressive. Except I’m confused as to whether he’s influencing several countries, prevailing over several rulers, or maybe he’s simply really long-lived and has been dominating a series of rulers in one country??
|He took up the reins of government.
He took over control of the government.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end. Consider sharing this Word Confusion with friends by tweeting it.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Merriam-Webster: rain, reign, and rein; Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Noun; Verb, intransitive & transitive||Noun 1; Verb, intransitive 2||Noun 3; Verb, intransitive & transitive 4|
Water that condenses from vapor and falls from the sky as drops, i.e., weather
To fall as water in drops from the clouds
To fall like rain
|To be in control
Period of time in which a person rules over a country, or a team holds onto a title
Dominion, sway, influence of one resembling a monarch
To hold office as chief of state although possessing little governing power
A narrow width of leather allowing the guidance of a four-legged creature, usually a horse or donkey
A restraining influence[Usually used in the plural] Controlling or guiding power
Opportunity for unhampered activity or use
To stop or slow up one’s horse or oneself by or as if by pulling the reins
Control or direct with or as if with reins
Check or stop by or as if by a pull at the reins
The rain is falling gently from the clouds.
He hasn’t the sense to come in out of the rain.
We are heading out rain or shine.
It never rains, but it pours.
Don’t rain on my parade!
Queen Elizabeth II’s reign has lasted for over 58 years.
President Obama’s reign only has two more years left.
the reign of digital technology
reign of terror
Confusion reigned in the ranks of milling soldiers.
The lion reigns in the jungle.
In England the sovereign reigns but does not rule.
Chaos reigned in the classroom.
Hold the reins for me, will you?
She gave full reign to her imagination.
She kept a tight rein on her children.
Obama is holding tight to the reins of government.
He couldn’t rein in his impatience.
She gave him full rein.
Noun: rainfall, rainlessness
|Adjective: reigning, nonreigning, unreigning
Verb, intransitive: interreign
Verb, transitive: outreign
|Adjective: reinless, unreined|
|History of the Word:|
|First known use: before the 12th century
Old English regn, rēn, which became the Middle English reyn.
Akin to the Old High German regan.
|1 First known use of the noun: 13th century
Middle English regne is from Anglo-French, which is itself from the Latin regnum, from reg- meaning rex king.
|3 First known use as a noun: 14th century
First known use as a verb: 15th century
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?