Commonly Confused Word Pairs: Pore/pour

January 21, 2010: Issue 324

Discrete means separate or distinct:
Changes in elevation divide the great-room into discrete areas for dining, playing, and watching TV.

Discreet means unobtrusive:
When company comes, deep built-in cabinets provide discreet storage for the kids’ toys.

Here are more sound-alike words that frequently cause confusion:

auger: n, a tool for boring
augur: v, to foretell

palate: n, a sense of taste or the roof of the mouth
palette: n, a board for mixing paints or a range of colors
pallet: n, a portable platform

pore: v, to read carefully
pour: v, to rain or to flow

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