The Garden of Endangered Metaphors

With a certain anguish of soul, I note that "free reign" seems now to be the accepted reanalysis of "free rein" even among quite educated people. It makes some sense, of course, and as a figure of thought it makes more sense to the average person of the 21st century than an equestrian metaphor. So I have no immediate plans to roam the internet, raging against the forces of semantic change.

Still, I fantasize about a theme park in which the clichés of yesteryear can live on. There will be a great many horses there, kitted out variously, so that park-goers may ride roughshod over the flowerbeds, or drive a coach and four through apertures of adequate width, or (yes) give their borrowed mounts free rein when not keeping them in check. And there will be boats of many kinds, and visitors may take things on board, or poke at each other with bargepoles, although they will be encouraged not to interfere with the mainstays. In the refreshment rooms, they can sample salmagundis or mutton dressed as lamb. And when they go home, visitors to my imaginary theme park will understand some once-common expressions that made sense viscerally when the world was a different place.

I'm still rather a long way off my venture capital appeal for my park, though, so in the meantime I would welcome suggestions for further attractions.

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