Right As Rein ☺

I once read a book in which the heroine reigned in her emotions as she preceded further down the road (this one’s published, folks!).   If you didn’t at least cringe when you read this, please pay attention.  The heroine reined in her emotions as she proceeded farther down the road is the correct usage if you mean the heroine controlled her emotions as she continued down the road.

Reign = rule over  Rein=control

Precede=to go before  Proceed=continue

Further=progress   Farther=measure of distance

Examples of other common word problems:

Wrong: Less than half of the students passed the verbal part of the exam.

Right: Fewer than half of the students passed the oral part of the exam.

Verbal = involving words; could apply to both oral and written communication.

Wrong: A large amount of books were, hopefully, added to the library.

Right: A large number of books were, we hope, added to the library.

Hopefully, strictly speaking, means filled with hope.

Wrong: Their training, light-years ahead of the competition, will enable them to decimate the other team.

Right: Their training, years ahead of the competition, will enable them to annihilate the other team.

Technically, decimate means to destroy one tenth.

Light-years measures distance, not time.

Finally, the ever-confusing lay and lie:

Wrong: She laid down to take a nap.

Right: She lay down to take a nap.

Wrong: Lay down beside me.

Right: Lie down beside me.

A trick I use is to refer to the adage Let sleeping dogs lie. (It’s not let sleeping dogs lay!).

When in doubt, LOOK IT UP.  If words are a problem for you and you are a writer, you need to invest in a good dictionary and grammar / punctuation guide. Don’t expect built-in spell-checks and grammar checks to do all the work.