From the Editor’s Desk

Grammar Rant of the Day: REIGN vs. REIN

Recently I wrote about the words peak, peek, and pique, and when to use them. Another common word mixup I encounter is between REIGN and REIN.

Romanian crownThe verb REIGN means to rule as a monarch. The noun REIGN means the time when a particular monarch rules. Here’s how to use “reign” correctly:

The king reigned for 30 years.

His reign was marked by relative peace and the flourishing of the comic book trade.

In that era the comic book reigned supreme.

Hint: Think of the “G” as standing for King George.


horse faceREINS, on the other hand, are the straps that a rider uses to control a horse.

To “rein in” a horse means to pull on its reins, causing it to slow down. So the phrase is “rein it in” — NOT “reign it in.” If you’re reining something in, you’re doing to it what a rider would do to a runaway horse.

Here’s how to use “rein” correctly:

I can’t keep eating six meals a day. I’ve got to rein it in here.

The devil keeps a firm grip on the reins of the Prada company.


This has been your grammar rant of the day!


Header and crown images are public domain due to expiration of copyright. Via Wikimedia Commons. Horse photograph by Simon Harrod.