Quire and choir are two words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine the definitions of quire and choir, where each of these words comes from and some examples of their use in sentences.
A quire is one twentieth of a ream of paper, consisting of twenty-four or twenty-five sheets. Quire may also refer to a unit of paper used in medieval manuscripts, consisting of four large sheets of paper folded together in order to form eight leaves, which renders sixteen pages. Today, any number of such parcels of paper folded together to form a book may be called a quire. The word quire is derived from the Latin word quaterni, which means four each.
A choir is a group of singers that practices and performs together, especially in a church. Choir may also refer to the area in a church in which such a group of singers stands. Choir is also used figuratively to mean a group of something with one voice. The word choir is derived from the Old French words cuer and quer, meaning a chorus of singers.
As he said, “Anybody can have ideas — the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.” (The Harvard Business Review)
“Immediately, on this suggestion, I rolled a quire of paper into a kind of cylinder and applied one end of it to the region of the heart and the other to my ear, and was not a little surprised and pleased to find that I could thereby perceive the action of the heart in a manner much more clear and distinct than I had ever been able to do by the immediate application of my ear.” (The Telegraph)
So when the Bach Choir of Bethlehem presents its first performance of the concert version of Bernstein’s provocative, innovative “Mass” Sunday, March 26, at the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, it should continue to resonate. (The Morning Call)