Is it “pour over” or “pore over”?

You may have read about someone “pouring over” a book, implying that they’re studying its pages intently.

Unfortunately, it’s wrong. Someone “pouring over” their book is likely dumping the contents of a watering can over it.

It’s a common mistake, but the correct phrase is “pore over.” It’s not a very commonly used word in this case, but “pore” is defined as “to be absorbed in the reading or study of.” Yes, a pore is also a very tiny opening in something, most commonly associated with the skin on our faces. The two words aren’t related.

Using “pore” might seem wrong to many people because of that other usage of the word. However, “pore” is the right word to use when writing about how closely you’re examining or reading something. If you get stuck, think of the watering can!


Posted in Spelling & GrammarLanguage.


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