Word Confusion: Pore versus Pour

Posted June 30, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

This particular word confusion, pore versus pour, makes me insane, and I most commonly see it confused when the author wants a character to be looking at something intently. The graphic image it always conjures up for me is wet. Really wet. I suppose it could be a dry pour, as in someone could pour sand or dirt over something, but I always imagine liquid.

I’ve experienced enough flooding whether it was in my books or my studio materials that I can imagine all too easily the loss and mess. All that water gushing over a book or pile of papers, it is simply depressing and such a job to dry out. So you can imagine how reading about someone pouring over a book takes me right out of the story.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Pore Pour
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

“Kalymnos Sponges” are kallerna’s are own work [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sponges have pores.


“Mercury Pour” by an Environmental Protection Agency employee is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Pouring liquid mercury from one beaker to another.

Part of Grammar:
Noun 1;
Verb, intransitive 2

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: pores
Past tense or past participle: pored
Gerund or present participle: poring

Noun;
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Third person present verb: pours
Past tense or past participle: poured
Gerund or present participle: pouring

Noun:
Minute opening in a surface, especially skin

Verb, intransitive:
Be absorbed in the reading or study of

[Archaic] Think intently, ponder

Noun:
The act of pouring.
An abundant or continuous flow or stream:
A heavy fall of rain
Verb, intransitive:
Flow rapidly in a steady stream

Rain falls heavily

Verb, transitive:
Cause a liquid to flow from a container at an angle

Serve a drink in this way

Donate something in large amounts

Express one’s feelings or thoughts in a full and unrestrained way

[Humorous] Dress oneself in a tight-fitting piece of clothing

Examples:
Noun:
Cold water will tighten the pores.

Verb, intransitive:
She has pored over those books for days.

Noun:
It was a pour of invective from the angry woman.

Verb, intransitive:
Words poured from his mouth

The rain poured down.

Verb, transitive:
She poured his juice into a sippy cup.

She poured out a cup of tea.

It’s pouring rain.

The letters poured in.

Janie poured out her hopes and fears.

Man, she must have poured herself into that dress!

Derivatives:
Adjective: porelike Adjective: pourable
Adverb: pouringly
Noun: pourability, pourer
Verb, transitive: interpour
History of the Word:
1 Late Middle English from the Old French, via Latin from the Greek poros meaning passage, pore.

2 Middle English.

Middle English of unknown origin.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

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Pinterest Photo Credits

“Back Blackheads” by Dr. Vikram Yadav is a still from his video at YouTube.com and “xx” is a still from “Big Ramy vs. Roelly Winklaar @ 2015 Mr. Olympia“, via Muscle Mutant.


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