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Words, words and more words....

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Words, words and more words....

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 14th, 2018, 6:05 pm

"Free Reign" vs 'Free Rein"

Rein or reign?
It wasn’t that many moons ago that horses were an integral part of our daily lives: in war and peace, in commerce and agriculture, they proved their worth by pulling various carts, carriages, and barges or they carried individual riders, from messengers to cavalry, on their backs. Since the dawn of the age of the internal-combustion engine, however, horses have slipped from this prominent place: now they feature chiefly in our leisure activities, whether we enjoy having a flutter on a race or riding purely for pleasure.

Giving free rein or reign?
The former central role of the horse in our society is reflected by the influence of all things equestrian on our language. From curtail and marshal to put the cart before the horse and curry favour, English is pervaded by either explicit or long-lost references to our equine friends – so much so that we’re now more likely to encounter them linguistically and figuratively rather than literally.

James Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, who famously remarked that ‘a horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle’ would no doubt welcome the current situation. But there is a downside. So distanced are we now from real-life horses and their accoutrements such as saddles, bridles, and reins, that when we write it’s not equestrian-related words that necessarily come to mind. This is demonstrated by the fact that we tend to confuse the spelling reign with rein. The two words mean quite different things, but sound the same when you say them: nowadays, the concept of a monarch’s reign seems to have more immediate relevance to us than the reins used to control a horse.

This misinterpretation is most clearly apparent in the phrase ‘free rein’. To give a horse free rein is to hold the reins loosely so as to allow the animal freedom of movement – it’s the opposite of keeping a tight rein on the horse (controlling it closely). The Oxford English Corpus (OEC), the Oxford Dictionaries’ database of over 2 billion words of 21st-century English, shows that when it comes to free rein, over 38% of the total instances are for the misspelling free reign.


https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/201 ... -or-reign/
Why do people who fancy themselves "fiscal conservatives" not scream at hidden debt accumulated in the past dozen years? Or, do they only object to spending on social programs?
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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 14th, 2018, 6:29 pm

"nip it in the bud" or "nip it in the butt"

Which is correct?
Why do people who fancy themselves "fiscal conservatives" not scream at hidden debt accumulated in the past dozen years? Or, do they only object to spending on social programs?
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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby generalposter » Jan 14th, 2018, 7:31 pm

Nip it in the bud. Meaning to stop something before it can 'blossom' or grow into anything larger than it already is.

"The foreman noticed the workers talking about unionizing and suggested the manager better "nip this in the bud".

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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby Catsumi » Jan 14th, 2018, 8:44 pm

The Queen reins in her reign when it rains.
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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby generalposter » Jan 15th, 2018, 4:49 pm

Two words commonly confused are effect and affect.

Affect is primarily a verb meaning 'make a difference to'.
Effect can be used as a noun or a verb meaning 'a result' or bring about 'a result'.
Add an s and it becomes effects which can be used to describe theatrical or film lighting, sound or scenery or a persons belongings.

Personally I really struggle with these two words. In some instances the English language is one of the toughest to use properly.

'Forgetting a spouses birthday can have a detrimental affect on the marriage.'

'The new forum rules are intended to effect change.'

'Just let me grab my effects and we'll hit the road.'

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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby Bsuds » Jan 15th, 2018, 5:05 pm

They're taking their sweet time getting here.
Nowadays it's almost rude to ask a question without Googling it first!
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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby generalposter » Jan 15th, 2018, 5:07 pm

'They're also taking their sweet time getting there.'

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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 15th, 2018, 5:18 pm

'Forgetting a spouses birthday can have a detrimental affect on the marriage.'


Can't agree with your usage of 'affect' here. It really should be 'effect'.

As you said:
Effect can be used as a noun or a verb meaning 'a result' or bring about 'a result'.

"If you want to affect your marriage positively, remember her birthday, anniversary, and bring flowers or wine for no reason at all!"
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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 15th, 2018, 5:23 pm

aloud vs allowed

aloud means to speak so others can hear you.

allowed means that an action or privilege is approved.
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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby generalposter » Jan 15th, 2018, 5:26 pm

You're probably right. I told you I struggle with that one. Hahaha
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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby Bsuds » Jan 15th, 2018, 5:29 pm

generalposter wrote:'They're also taking their sweet time getting there.'


LOL, that's what I meant to say.
Nowadays it's almost rude to ask a question without Googling it first!

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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 15th, 2018, 5:31 pm

generalposter wrote:You're probably right. I told you I struggle with that one. Hahaha


I feel your pain...it took me many years of professional writing to get it through my thick skull!!
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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby generalposter » Jan 15th, 2018, 5:35 pm

Interesting... there is a wordsmith amongst us. Bring it on, give me your best!

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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 15th, 2018, 5:48 pm

No, not a wordsmith... just a regular English nazi trying to make a difference in helping people express themselves more clearly by using appropriate words.....
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Re: Words, words and more words....

Postby generalposter » Jan 15th, 2018, 5:59 pm

Wordsmith: a skilled user of words. That would be you.

Is it just me or does need, knead and kneed seem a bit needy?

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