I respect the tech-savvy of younger workers and writers – but many have pour/pore/poor writing skills when it comes to using the correct words.
This post was inspired by an informative article I was reading about writing effective Instagram captions. I learn from smart younger writers.
The writer seemed very helpful and smart – and then I read this… (the main problem words in CAPS, using X and Y to conceal identity):
X manages Y company’s Publishing team and is the editor of this blog. When he’s not POURING over copy, you might find him POURING a coffee. Or riding a bike. He has many interests.
The correct word should be PORING over copy.
This PORE (as a verb) means:
to read or study attentively —usually used with over
to reflect or meditate steadily
Or as The Bard writes:
If words are said rather than read – the mistake wouldn’t matter as it would sound the same.
But mistakes that appear in writing make the reporter or reader (if the written words appear with the reader) and the news organisation look dumb and unreliable. POUR sods!
In a stint subbing the scripts of younger TV news reporters, I’d POUR over scripts to pick up mistakes in written in graphics and supers/straps.
I argue that using the correct word is important – so I:
1. collected a list of lots of problem words mistakes many young writers make
2. teach easy-to-remember ways to use the right word.
For example, to remember to use PORE correctly – when you PORE over documents etc, you READ them – hence PORE has the RE part of Read in it – poRE.
I like helping younger writers improve their PORE word mistakes and helping busy news organisations reduce credibility-eroding errors.
Yes, alas, I’m a word nerd and POOR forth my Shakespeare nerdiness – but that nerdiness can help young writers remember how to avoid common mistakes.