My husband had the nerve to question one of my word choices recently. I know! Can you believe it? In a post a few days ago I said something about how I would try to "rein in" the cynicism. Dan said, "Shouldn't that be "reign in with a G" instead of "rein in"?
I told him that it was used correctly because I was reining in my snarkiness, as one would use the reins to "rein in" a horse that was running too fast. "Reign" refers to governing or ruling a country, so that wouldn't make sense. Right? But did he believe me? No. He wants proof.
I consulted The Eggcorn Database to answer the question, but it wasn't enough for Dan. I think it clearly supports my horsey argument, but I need more to back up my argument. I even took this BBC homophone quiz--the superstar level, I might add--which was pretty funny because those wacky British types think that "caught" and "court" actually rhyme! In the South, "caught" and "cot" rhyme and neither of them have an R in the middle.
Oh! Then today I found the following passage on page 244 of Elizabeth Hoyt's THE SERPENT PRINCE: "His lust rose, shaking his muscles, but he reined it in." See, so I must be right because Hoyt said that Simon was reining in his lust. (Don't worry, his resolve didn't last. It's a really fun book.)
I leave it to you, my faithful interpeeps, to settle this argument. Especially you, Grammar Wench and Katydid, because your knowledge of grammar knows no bounds. You both know who you are.
Give me something tangible that I can hold up for Dan's inspection. Something which will make him utter those three little words I long to hear him say...
"You were right."
And, even better, those other three little words I long to hear from him...
"I was wrong."