Sight versus site: one more time!

Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:26 AM
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Yea. I "sighted" that just after I posted.
Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:32 AM
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>according to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000

"Nite" is defined as NOUN Informal Night.<

Another example of the general lessening of standards.

What will happen when the young people shorten "sight" to "site" and won't know that there is a difference?

Tonite I shall sit and mull on which site to cite, alrite?

ira is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:37 AM
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Ah, language. Several people have even questioned me on the spelling of my screen name, asking why it isn't Neapolitan. According to some dictionaries, Neapolitan is an adjective -- in the style of Naples. But Neopolitan is a person from Naples. Yet you can find a mixed use and even a back up in some dictionaries, indicating that Neapolitan might also be correct as a person from Naples. Which should we believe?
Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:52 AM
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I'm surprised that people are so short of time that "night" (five characters) needs to be shortened to "nite" (four, thus saving a whole keystroke), or that people need to shorten "with" to "w/" (saving another two keystokes). What do people do with all this extra time in their lives?
GeoffHamer is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:54 AM
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Greendragon-- What exactly is your definition of ebonics? I am sorry, but I was very offended by your usage of the term.

As an African-American, I do not believe in the term "Ebonics". I also do not believe that language is in any way a determining factor of a person's level of intelligence.

While I do agree that reading is an essential need and that we need to do more of it our public schools, I also fight against those that negatively stereotype people for talking in the dialect of their neighborhood or community.

Not all language that you feel is inferior would be classified as "ebonics". I also feel that you may be using this term in a way to negatively slight certain populations.

I believe that a person can speak "slang" and also speak professionally. I think being able to go between those two different modes of speaking is a learned skill that is useful.

I would be very curious to see what you feel is ebonics and who you feels uses this "language".
birthdaygirlstrip is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:05 AM
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GreenDragon, my heart is with you, except for the ebonics comment, but I have to say that a language purist has a hard roe to how!

All languages change with time (whether the French Academy chooses to accept that or not!) and, so far as English is concerned, it is hard to know what the "official version" is. For many years as an editor I stuck with the Webster's Third Edition as my ultimate dictionary reference, but when my copy of it finally disintegrated and I couldn't find another, I gave in to the 21st century, grumbling all the way, of course.

In spite of the fact that current English usage often offends my ear, it seems to me that language must be responsive to the needs of its time. The speed of communication is a primary concern these days, thus nite for night in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition as MissPrism points out, and so on. Add to that the decline in educational standards over the past several generations and you wind up with a supposedly literate adult population with a seriously diminished vocabulary, very little understanding of grammar and spelling deficiencies that curl this editor's hair.
ckwald is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:40 AM
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Sorry if I came off harsh regarding the "ebonics" issue...

I am just not a fan of that term, and I feel that many people missed the issue around it. And I also feel that some people may be under the impression that the schools somehow want to teach this "dialect" or that all people of certain populations speak this way. Being from the culture that is named in this term, it is somehow irritating when people look at me in shock when I speak professionally or show off my odd and extensive if they are surprised that I am able to speak a certain way other than what they deem as "ebonics".

Usually they will say things like "my, you are so articulate!".

birthdaygirlstrip is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Returning to the original theme of this thread. The use of "site" instead of "sight" may be yet another internet convenience. The "nite" vs "night" example was also mentioned above.

I have never understood this tendency. It seems that if anyone would have been desperate to use every abbreviation possible it would have been those poor ancient souls that had to write everything in longhand. And, yet, somehow most of them managed to resist this temptation.

Today, despite ergonomic keyboards, hotkeys, cutting and pasting, word completion software, etc., many internet users compulsively abbreviate or shorten words. It is even more puzzling when this effort only saves one or two letters.

Incidentally, the terms "site" and "sight" might be exchangeable in some contexts. When you are visiting a famous landmark, are you going to the "site" or the "sight"? In other words, are you going to the location or the thing? It's a matter of interpretation.
smueller is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 09:40 AM
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Gee, Underhill, you started a thread on this exact same topic back in June 2005. Did you scream as promised? Many times or just once?

When someone takes the time and effort to post a detailed trip report, I prefer to focus on the content and the poster's eagerness to share their travel experiences, rather than race for my Big Red Pen to note down all the grammar and spelling fox paws.

Most Fodorites express themselves fairly well. If they make a few grammar and spelling mistakes along the way, they could be due to jet lag, clumsy fingers, family distractions, or who knows what.
BTilke is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 09:50 AM
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OK, now can we talk about seeking "advise"?
Mar 22nd, 2006, 09:53 AM
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Hi birthdaygirlstrip
>Sorry if I came off harsh regarding the "ebonics" issue...<


The problem arose from some "Academics" who tried to convince us that what was merely uneducated American Englsh slang was somehow a language derived from African roots and should be accepted alongside standard American English - if not allowed to supplant it in the classroom.

It should not be surprising, then, that some laypersons would have gotten the idea that all Black African Americans spoke that way.

ira is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 10:01 AM
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From an old UPI Stylebook (United Press International)

"A burro is an ass. A burrow is a hole in the ground. As a journalist, you're expected to know the difference."

I love that one.

jules4je7 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 10:31 AM
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I wish to apologize if my use of the term 'ebonics' offended anyone. It was not meant to be such!

I use the term to describe the manner of speech of many of my students. They are not all of one race, nor are the majority African-American. They are all, however, from a lower economic spectrum, and invariably are getting back into college after being away for some time, due to working, marriage, childbirth, etc.

The fact that they ARE back in college and attempting to learn encourages my faith in the future. However, the speech patterns that they come in with are very similar, and tie in to what the linguists have termed 'ebonics'. I used the term as a description of the dialect used by that particular economic stratum.

I am disheartened when I hear anyone who cannot communicate well in their native language. This does not include people for whom English is a second language (I live in Florida, we have lots of them!) -- they are usually trying hard to become bilingual, another laudable effort. But those who should have been taught to communicate well in English and CANNOT even when they try... that's a tragedy. Whether it is because they didn't care during school, or their parents didn't help, or they have ADD, or whatever the reason is, they are at a serious disadvantage in life. I do my best to correct this in class -- even though I am not an English teacher (I teach Accounting!)

My DH is going back to school at this same college. He is currently taking college English, and supports my opinions of the general lack of communication skills in the student body. Some are still passed in the English class. That's sad.
GreenDragon is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:25 AM
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The language may change, but speaking and writing it correctly seems to have gone out of style, especially with the advent of the internet. In posts it's easy to tell the difference between an error caused by speed and one that comes from not knowing the correct word form.

How many spellings have we seen for itinerary?
Underhill is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 12:13 PM
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A site is a blob of land where something is located--perhaps even a sight. A sight is something worth seeing for some reason. A site might be worth going to or not.

My house site is located at -----. But, as much as I do like my house, I wouldn't consider it a sight for sightseeing.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 05:31 PM
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And then, there's leary used to mean leery and weary used for wary.
noe847 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 06:57 PM
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This has absolutely nothing to do with "site" or "sight" or anything else discussed on this thread, but I would like to know why people can't seem to spell "itinerary" correctly.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 04:47 AM
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>there's leary used to mean leery and weary used for wary.<

and there's "loose" for "lose", "lead" for "led", "gaUntlet" for "gantlet" and 100 different ways to spell "itinerary".

ira is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 05:14 AM
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I felt no hope for the future when I recently received an email that began...

"Could you help us with planning our trip to Province. We are recent college grajuates...."

Sigh. A sign of the "pass them along" and get them out of school ?


PBProvence is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 05:24 AM
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It is not the point vernacular that matters.

viaggio_sempre is offline  

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