Rein/Reign/Rain Down on Me

On an infamous and pitiless website, I found this little bit of a sentence today: The Voice reined supreme in the ratings.


Reined? Really? Well, that sentence awoke the pitiless word-snark in me. I see this word confusion all the time. “Reign in your emotions!” or “She reigned in her anger.” Uh, no. That’s “reined in.” Why? Because it’s a figure of speech, comparing the emotion or anger to an out-of-control horse. And the reins in question are metaphorical reins comparable to the literal reins you’d use to control the horse.

However, The Voice reigned supreme. Reigned, not reined. The comparison here is to a ruler, a king who reigns.

If this were the only example of the reined/reigned mix-up, I probably wouldn’t have made this post. But it’s out there everywhere. I think (so far) the only error I haven’t seen is confusing rain for reign or rein. If I find it out there somewhere, I’m sure I’ll froth at the mouth a while and then post about it.

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