Pour vs. Pore, Heal vs. Heel

Homophones are words that are pronounced the same, but have different spellings and meanings. Pore and Pour are homophones, as are Heel and Heal. Let’s not get them mixed up in our writing. (You can mix them up all you want when speaking, because nobody will be able to tell!)

Pour means to transfer a liquid from a container using gravity.

Example: She poured the tea into the wrong cup – I had asked for coffee.

The verb “to pore” means to study or read intently.

Example: He pored over the drawings trying to locate the contractor’s changes.

If you mix them up, your reader will be gasping in horror.

Bad Example: He was pouring over the plot plans that had taken months to prepare.

Now, for the correct heal vs. heel usage.

Heal is a verb that means to restore to health or better condition.

Example: Physician, heal thyself.

Heel is a noun that refers to the rounded, back part of the foot, the hand, a loaf of bread, or a horizontal well. As a verb, “to heel” means to apply pressure to propel, as if using the heel of your foot to push.

Example: My dog Pepper, a black lab and pit bull mutt, knows how to sit, but he doesn’t understand the command “Heel!” He just keeps sniffing the grass until I yank his leash.

Good Example of Both: To heal your cracked heel, you should soak it in Epsom salts, then use a foot file to remove the dead skin, and apply lots of lotion.

Q: Exactly what kind of salts are Epsom salts?

A: Magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, or (MgSO4·7H2O).

Fun Fact: Magnesium sulfate absorbs sound in seawater by converting acoustic energy to heat energy, particularly the high frequencies.


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