Poring over “Pore” and “Pour”
Some confusion appears to exist regarding the use of pour and pore.
Charlie complains that he has to pour through stacks of badly-written letters to the editor every day.
In this context the word should be pore. The usual idiom is “to pore over.” Apparently the preposition “through” has entered into use, as in the above quotation, and as in this headline in the New York Times:
Teachers Pore Through Stacks Of Possibilities
The verb pore, with the meaning “examine closely,” may derive from two Old English words, a verb, spyrian, meaning “to investigate, examine,” and a noun, spor, meaning “a trace, vestige.”
The noun pore, meaning “an opening in the skin,” is not related to the verb in the expression “to pore over.” The noun comes from a Greek word meaning “a passageway.”
The verb pour, meaning to transfer water or some other substance from a container, came into English by way of Old French from a Latin verb, purare, “to purify.” In ritual practice, objects are purified by pouring water over them. The English word pure comes from Latin purus, “pure.” The Latin verb came from the Latin noun.
Lore is learning, knowledge, doctrine. To become well-versed in computer lore or the lore of magic, or the lore of religion, one must pore over learned tomes.
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