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Is "free reign" now so common that it's considered to be correct?

1 reply

SongsAboutB · 16/06/2014 21:19

I've read it a few times in novels (not high-brow ones obviously). A few of them self-published and containing many, many, other grammatical errors, but also in several American novels which have been published and I assume have been edited, and which have otherwise acceptable English. Generally the phrase contains 'over', so a character might be given free reign over a particular section of a business for instance, meaning to take charge of it and not have to answer to someone else. So it does seem to be a slightly different usage to 'free rein' which is more of a running wild or unfettered image.

OP posts:
badtime · 17/06/2014 15:02

No, it is not considered to be correct, but I think a lot of people actually think that 'free reign' is correct and 'free rein' is an error!

I actually get less annoyed by this than a lot of errors, because it does make sense, in a way that 'should of' (for example) doesn't.

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