Friday, November 22, 2013

Posted by Laurel Garver on Friday, November 22, 2013 No comments
In this week's edition of Phonics Friday, we'll be tackling a trio of sound-alike words, all pronounced pȯr. We'll look at definitions, see the terms used in context, and learn some mnemonic (memory) devices to keep them straight.

image credit: hotblack at morguefile.com
Why bother? If you accidentally swap one of these legitimate words for another, spell check won't help you. It can't discern context, but merely if a certain combination of letters appears in its dictionary.

Poor

poor (adj.) - lacking resources, having little money; less than ideal, negative, bad. An expression of pity.

Examples
Hank's family was so poor, they ate meat only once a month.
The cafe service was so poor that we waited an hour for our meal.
Kay was discouraged by her new employee's poor performance on the job.
Poor Leo is hobbling around campus on crutches.

Mnemonic
The poor have too few cool things.

image credit: lisa solonynko, morguefile

Pour

pour (v., trans.) to make flow or dispense in a stream; to produce or give in abundance; to give full expression.

Examples
A waiter must pour wine with great care.
Travis decided to pour all his resources into the family ranch.
Over lunch, Violet poured out her worries to us.

Mnemonic
Doug will pour out our pungent southern punch

Pore

pore (V., intrans.) to intently study, gaze, reflect, or meditate upon; often used with over.

image credit: clarita, morguefile.com
pore (n.) a microscopic opening, as in the skin, (especially one through which molecules can pass through a membrane); tiny opening in the surface of plants or minerals.

the adjectival form of the noun is porous.

Examples
Renee loved to pore over European travel guides in the library.
How long have you been poring over your exam notes?
The dermatologist examined the pores on Mia's cheeks.
Don't take that porous bag; it will leak.

Mnemonic
To raise your geology score more, you must pore over ore.

Which of these terms trip you up most? Any other homophones you'd like me to cover?

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