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gp101
09-20-2006, 03:41 AM
Word in question is scour, as in to search intensively for something/someone. But I only recall seeing used in reference to looking for something animate in a big place like a field or a garage. So can you use it like this:

He scoured the article for the third time then tossed the paper to the counter.

The MC is desperately trying to find something in a newspaper article. Without being wordy, I thought scour was perfect. But can you even use "scour" when referring to looking for something in an article?

I thought of using scanned, but then it sounds like he was putting the article through a copier. Studied, read, reviewed don't capture what I mean. The thesaurus and dictionary haven't helped much.

Is scour good enough? Does it make sense? Or do you have substitutes that might work? Thanks.

TheIT
09-20-2006, 03:43 AM
Scoured works for me, but I think he'd toss the paper "on" the counter rather than "to" the counter.

Silver King
09-20-2006, 03:55 AM
Scoured has such a harsh sound, with multiple meanings (battered, worn, etc.). I think "searched" might work better, or perhaps "examined."

brianm
09-20-2006, 04:23 AM
That word reminds me of washing pots and pans or rubbing something hard to make it shine... like cleaning silver. Perhaps... scrutinized?

veinglory
09-20-2006, 04:26 AM
I think it's accurate enough but to me it refers to an animal getting the runs ;)

Silver King
09-20-2006, 04:35 AM
like cleaning silver
I hadn't thought of that, but given my handle, I'd tend to agree. I feel somewhat scoured just by the sound of that word.

Becky Writes
09-22-2006, 05:58 AM
Scoured used in that way works for me.

Jamesaritchie
09-22-2006, 07:07 AM
I think it's accurate enough but to me it refers to an animal getting the runs ;)

???

Jo
09-22-2006, 07:59 AM
He scoured the article for the third time then tossed the paper to the counter.

The MC is desperately trying to find something in a newspaper article. Without being wordy, I thought scour was perfect. But can you even use "scour" when referring to looking for something in an article?

If it's any help, I've heard/used it in this context. (I'm Australian.) The Oxford Interactive Encyclopedia cites this dictionary example:

"H. CARPENTER Davidson...scoured the literary journals for anything that might interest Auden."

And this thesaurus entry:

"2 scour the countryside|scour the newspaper search, comb, go over, look all over, ransack, hunt through, rake through, rummage through, leave no stone unturned."

pdr
09-22-2006, 08:05 AM
James, it's an Antipodean term for calves or lambs on too rich food which gives them gut problems in the form of a nasty smelly diarrhoea. Colloquially known as the runs or the trots.


And in the sense gp 101 wants to use it I would use it too. Scoured can mean a thorough search

Jamesaritchie
09-22-2006, 05:11 PM
James, it's an Antipodean term for calves or lambs on too rich food which gives them gut problems in the form of a nasty smelly diarrhoea. Colloquially known as the runs or the trots.


And in the sense gp 101 wants to use it I would use it too. Scoured can mean a thorough search

Now that is cool. Never heard that one before.

wordmonkey
09-22-2006, 05:28 PM
I'm English, so that's OK by me and I know exactly whatyou mean. I would guess though that my American wife would wonder why you were washing the thing with an abrasive scrubbing object.

It depends on your market as much as anything else.

Carrie in PA
09-23-2006, 07:11 AM
I'm as American as you can get and I knew exactly what you meant. Go for it.

gp101
09-23-2006, 01:00 PM
Thanks for the responses. The were great help. Looks like "scour" will remain in my WHIP. Deep inside I felt sure it was being used correctly, but for some crazy reason, I occasionally get these unexplainable bouts of doubt about a particular word I use that I was originally confident of. It happens with a lot more simpler words than "scour" and I find myself reaching for the dictionary to doublecheck, then slap myself in the head for my stupid doubt. Wasn't so easy for "scour", but I still can't explain the other occasional doubts. Sign of age, senility, dislexia, or beer?

Carmy
09-23-2006, 07:24 PM
Scoured is much stronger than 'searched'. Use it in good health.

SeanDSchaffer
09-24-2006, 07:49 AM
Maybe you could use the word 'combed'. I have heard it used in situations like this, such as in: "They combed the desert looking for Ray, but they still could not find him".

gp101
09-24-2006, 07:52 AM
Maybe you could use the word 'combed'. I have heard it used in situations like this, such as in: "They combed the desert looking for Ray, but they still could not find him".

That is a good word. And I've heard it used that way also; just completely forgot to consider it in my WHIP. But what the hell is Maestro doing lost in a desert?

SeanDSchaffer
09-24-2006, 07:56 AM
That is a good word. And I've heard it used that way also; just completely forgot to consider it in my WHIP. But what the hell is Maestro doing lost in a desert?


They're just trying to find out where he is. After all, the location under his username is "UNKNOWN" (All-CAPS are his, not mine).

It looks to me like they still have yet to find him.

Silver King
09-24-2006, 08:37 AM
I occasionally get these unexplainable bouts of doubt about a particular word I use that I was originally confident of. It happens with a lot more simpler words than "scour" and I find myself reaching for the dictionary to doublecheck
In most cases, I'd say this is a good habit. It means you care enough about your work to express thoughts with the greatest import.

I don't like "scour," and I like "comb" even less. But what I do like is your search for words, and the pains it has taken you to find the perfect word to convey your feelings.

Sandi LeFaucheur
09-24-2006, 03:17 PM
I thought of using scanned, but then it sounds like he was putting the article through a copier. Studied, read, reviewed don't capture what I mean. The thesaurus and dictionary haven't helped much.


I like scour. To me, it gives the idea of carefully scrutinizing. To scan is to skim. And studied, read, reviewed are just too boring. If you like it, go for it. From the other responses, it seems to be a matter of taste.