Saturday, February 22, 2014

Today's Writing Tip Is on Poring or Pouring over Your Books

This is a phrase that has always confused me because both spellings look wrong, and neither verb seems at first glance to mean what we want it to mean. But the correct answer is pore: Stephen was poring over his laptop notes. If he poured over them, we only have to hope that it wasn't coffee!

Pour means to fill a glass or drink with something, or to flow in a steady direction whereas to pore means to reflect or meditate, stare at something intensely, or – the meaning we want – to read or study with great attention. Pore can also be used as a noun to refer to the pores on our face.

Just remember that there is no “u” in poring over your books (or that  "u" may not find it to be all that much fun).

Sigrid Macdonald is an editor and the author of three books. Find her at  


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