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Blogging Grammar: Sight, Site, Cite

Blogging Grammar

It’s been a while since I added to the Blogging Grammar series. It’s produced on something of a need to know basis. If I see a grammar error repeatedly — enough to grate on my English sensibilities — then I’m pretty sure people need to know how to fix the problem. So that I don’t have to be irritated any longer.

Until the rise of the internet, about half the people on the planet had never used the word “site.” Now, it’s common enough that the various heterogrpahs get mixed up far too often. Here’s a simple primer.

Today’s lesson: when to use your and when to use sight, site, or cite.

I don’t have any keen tricks to remember which word to use. It’s simply a matter of memorization. Perhaps readers can come up with a mnemonic to help. Here are the definitions:

Sight is being able to see with your eyes or observing something

I have the enemy in sight!

Site  is an area or place

We selected a building site for our home.

This is a great  lifestyle design website.

Cite is to quote or praise

Please cite three experts when you write your paper.

When you run across a word you aren’t sure of, take a minute to make sure you are using the correct word. Your credibility as a writer depend on it.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Jenny August 4, 2011, 8:55 am

    Cool little article. I never got sight, site and cite mixed up before. However i used to be awful with there and their. Even today i make the occasional mistake with those two.

    Nice site BTW. Love it.

  • Matt Black August 7, 2011, 8:38 am

    This post really made me laugh, do people still get confused with those words?lol Anyway, you have a wonderful sight here, I will definitely site it for other people to check it. Your sight was a feast for my cite 🙂

  • Dayan August 8, 2011, 11:43 am

    Thank you, I always do a grammar mistakes.

  • Ileane August 8, 2011, 5:34 pm

    Hi Alison! I work for a publisher so I always remember citation when I think of using the word cite. The other site is easy to keep separate from sight. 🙂

  • Nadeshiko August 10, 2011, 12:09 am

    I’ve been living in the US for 10 years. But I am still struggling to improve my English skill. My 8 yrs old daughter is better than me, of course….

  • Sally Brown August 14, 2011, 7:34 pm

    Hi Allison,

    I too am an English grammar fanatic. I hate it whenever I make a mistake on a post. I feel like I’ve let the ‘Good-Grammar Gods’ down. When I see mistakes on other people’s blogs, I want to send them a message about it, but not sure that is the right thing to do unless I know you personally.

    Thanks for the lessons you give on grammar because they are much needed. Thanks Sally

  • Pedro Cardoso August 14, 2011, 7:39 pm

    I’m not really sure, but I think I can right “write”, right? Seriously though, polishing up grammar is a must for bloggers. Fortunately, it’s also something that comes naturally, when you do a lot of reading and writing!

  • Alison Moore Smith August 26, 2011, 9:47 pm

    Welcome, Jenny. Since websites have become common, I see sight and site mixed up quite a bit.

    BTW, let’s keep the language clean. 🙂 Thanks.

  • mari August 31, 2011, 11:58 pm

    Hi i am a new blogger and yes it’s important to use right word in right place because then they will have their full result. Thanks for the blog.

  • Rob Benwell September 1, 2011, 11:19 am

    Just a thought, if Shakespeare could be so liberal with the language how important is it really to follow the rules of proper grammar?

  • Labor attorney September 6, 2011, 7:35 pm

    True. we should always be careful in our grammar and spelling. Better write it down first in notepad or word so you can check it well. Sometimes we also forget to check the typographical errors so better read the entire article before posting.

  • CharlesKelsey September 8, 2011, 2:12 pm

    I love your site. It is definitely a great detour to also find ways on how to critic ourselves especially with our grammar.

  • Dany September 22, 2011, 8:36 am

    Spelling and grammar has gone down the drain. When I see a glaring spelling/grammar error on a blog or website, it’s immediately discredited! Doesn’t matter if it has the best graphic design or layout, if the content is poorly written, it’s worthless.

  • Alison Moore Smith September 22, 2011, 11:24 am

    True, Dany. I can overlook a typo here or there. As a sometimes prolific blogger, I know very well how stupid errors can get through. But the content overall should be readable!

    Some native English speakers are just lazy and some non-native English speakers need to learn English better before trying to communicate with the masses. I’ve read posts by some really nice people who can’t write well enough in English to be understood. It’s very frustrating trying to divine the intent.

    That said, I think you meant, “Spelling and grammar HAVE gone down the drain.” 😉

  • Johnny Optimo September 24, 2011, 12:37 am

    People don’t know the difference between sight, site and cite? Sigh.

    lol.. well I agree, the moment I hear someone confuse one of those, their credibility goes down the toilet. Such is the internet though.

  • Tim Ryan September 25, 2011, 9:29 pm

    There are a number of blogs I ran into that made an error of mixing up these three words – cite, site, and sight. Probably our brain is telling us these three are one and the same, that’s why a lot of people overlook the mistake. It probably just takes a little bit of proofreading to correct this.

  • Genie September 30, 2011, 11:12 pm

    I would like to add. I noticed these age are coming up with wrong grammar. People are making every effort to abbreviate terms of words or phrases. I think this is due to online games.
    I am an avid gamer and I can “cite” the background on this term.
    Games, online games mainly, involves lots of people. People in a “rush” mode. They tend to type words on chat at the same time clicking “skills” on the game interface buttons or slots. This in turn is hard for a gamer to type long words as it affects the momentum of attack they are making in the scene of a game. So they created a way to abbreviate words or phrases those that are quite familiar on the game words used every day via chat system. I guess this really thrive an is contagious as those people who aren’t playing much are being drawn to people who are into social media sites that chats the said terms or abbreviations.
    Just stating my opinion though.
    Happy Blogging!
    Genie here 🙂
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  • Td October 9, 2011, 5:27 pm

    The main thing is that the person on your webpage understands what you are trying to pass across. If at all you made gramatical error ones the reader can stil understand what you are trying to pass across then no big deal. Examble…”He came back last week” “He came bak last week”
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  • Ann October 13, 2011, 10:03 am

    Nice article. I think everyone has that little ‘poor grammar twinge’! And, I know we think less of someone when we see an obvious mistake. I’m holding out for the other side of spell check – grammar check! Thanks for sharing, it really needed to be said. Love your site!
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  • bob October 14, 2011, 9:10 am

    Great site 🙂 It is amazing how many people don’t understand the difference!
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  • Jadwal Sepak Bola October 14, 2011, 1:19 pm

    I wish my english is good
    Read Jadwal Sepak Bola’s inCREDible post…Jadwal Liga Italia Hari Senin, 17 Oktober, 2011, Lazio vs AS Roma Live Di IndosiarMy Profile

  • Ana October 18, 2011, 1:40 pm

    Perhaps I’m missing something here, but “Today’s lesson: when to use your and when to use sight, site, or cite.”

    “when to use your”? This is the part that confuses me.

    Anyway, I absolutely agree with you. There is a difference between making spelling mistakes and typos because we’re all human. Making serious errors with the word choice and writing unreadable texts in English is simply something that shouldn’t be tolerated if it’s done by somebody whose job IS to write proper language.

  • Walter November 14, 2011, 8:19 pm

    Ha ha. I have had such mistakes many times during the past and it makes me laugh. Its true what you say, we have to make sure of the words we use, otherwise, we will be misleading our readers. 🙂

  • egloo November 16, 2011, 7:01 am

    I gonna start blogging and this is good lesson for me Alison.

  • Rob Benwell November 24, 2011, 12:43 am

    This post made me smile. We really need to be conscious enough with our grammar because it will misinform our readers.
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