Wednesday, March 25, 2015

soar/sore: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Wednesday, March 25, 2015

By far the more common word is “sore,” which refers to aches, pains, and wounds: sore feet, sore backs, sores on your skin. The more unusual word used to describe the act of gliding through the air or swooping up toward the heavens is spelled “soar.” This second word is often used metaphorically: eagles, spirits, and prices can all soar. If you know your parts of speech, just keep in mind that “soar” is always a verb, and “sore” can be either a noun (“running sore”) or an adjective (“sore loser”) but never a verb. In archaic English “sore” could also be an adverb meaning “sorely” or “severely”: “they were sore afraid.”

This is the ten-year anniversary of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.

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