Then there’s rain

English is a difficult language indeed.
Everyone knows the trouble generated by there, they’re and their. For the record, it’s that middle one that causes most of the problems.
Then we have to, too, and two. Once again, that one in the middle.
And let’s not even talk about its and it’s. The possessive form doesn’t have the apostrophe?
But these examples are fairly common. That’s while the Strunk and White book exists.
There are others, however.
I was going over a student’s essay yesterday and came across the mention of someone having “free reign.”
“That sort of sounds right,” I said, “but let’s look it up.”
Just as I suspected, the correct term is “free rein,” as in loosening up on the reins of your horse and letting him run free. Some websites admitted, though, that this is a tricky one because “free reign” seems to make sense, like a ruler being free to do whatever he or she wishes.
Neither of these, of course, should be confused with the fact that rain costs nothing, therefore making it too “free rain.”

Ed Ackerman