Pore or Pour?
I found this in the Traverse City Record-Eagle (AP) 4/7/14, 6B:
“[As an NBA player] point guard [Kevin Ollie] devoured information, pouring over scouting reports and game film, looking
at tendencies and statistics—whatever he could to keep himself out on the
Unless he was spilling
his Gatorade over those reports and films, he was actually poring over them. It seems to me that the once
impeccable Associated Press has been slipping in its editing practices in
As a verb, pore means to examine something with
rigorous attention. It’s found in English beginning in the 14th
century. The Oxford English Dictionary
declares the origin unknown, but speculates that it might be connected to the
dialectical pire (to peer closely), but
going from a long –i– sound to a long –o– sound poses difficulties.
As a noun, pore means an opening, a duct, on the
skin surface. It came from the Greek πόρος (poros), a passage or a channel. It
also appeared in English in the 14th century.
The verb pour means to emit in a stream. It may
have come from a Middle French word meaning to decant a liquid, and it, too,
appeared in English in that hyperactive 14th century.
In sum, you may pour
wine into a glass, then pore over its surface to detect sediment. Never, under
any circumstances, pore wine into a glass.
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