Sunday, March 26, 2017

When to Use Cite, Site, and Sight

The only thing these words have in common is that they are homonyms, meaning that they sound the same. But the meanings are quite different.

Let's start with cite, which means to reference or refer to. "Jonathan cited statistics from The Journal of American History in his gender studies class."
What about site? A site is a place. "The corner of Woodroffe and Baseline is the perfect site for a cemetery." One way to remember this is to think of the word website, which is a location on the Internet.
And sight? This is easy to remember by thinking of eyesight. Sight has to do with vision or seeing. "My sight is almost 2020." But it also means something that you can see, which is where we get the word sightseeing. And sight can be a verb as in, "Suzanne sighted her husband in the distance."

When in doubt, look it up. It takes two minutes to use an online dictionary or blog to make sure that you are using the correct version of these important words.