Usage Expert Needed - Site or Sight???

Jul 18th, 2001, 10:22 AM
  #1  
Robin
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Usage Expert Needed - Site or Sight???

I can't stand it any more-- I know that I misuse these two words, and since being on this forum causes me to use them a lot, I'm determined to get it right!

Which word is proper when describing the places one wants to see in a country?

Which one is a URL?

(I know which one deals with vision-- got that one down!)

Are there British/American differences?

Does anyone else find this topic endlessly fascinating?

Okay, I'll stop now...
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 10:29 AM
  #2  
justtrying
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I'm not as interested in this as you, but here is my off the cuff differentiation: A "site", is a location or place; a "sight" is a spectacle or vision. Thus, you can have a sight that is at a site. Or quite a sight at a website. AND a "cite" consists of directions (numbers, names, volumes, etc.) as to how to find a site, so to speak, for reseach purposes.
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 10:39 AM
  #3  
Capo
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justtrying is right; a site is a location. Hence a URL (which stands for Universal Resoure Locator) is a website. Some websites are well designed (like, IMO, this one) whereas others are very cluttered, a sight for sore eyes.
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 10:40 AM
  #4  
Kavey
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Unless the Americans have done with Sight what they have done to Night (Nite) then my interpretation matches the one above.

Site = location (whether it is a tourist site, a building site or a web site)

Sight = something to see, a visual attraction

As just... mentions, a famous tourist site could also be considered to be quite a sight to see...

When someone says they want to see the sites they could just as well say see the sights.

But when someone says I want to go to the site where xyz happened, they can't replace that with Sight...

Does that help or make it worse?

Kavey
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 10:43 AM
  #5  
Bernie
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Just to clarify one other often confusing usage, you can go sightseeing at an historic site! (Though you can never go 'siteseeing'. Must say my particular misuse hates are people using "it's" when they mean "its" and "there" when they mean "their". Oh no, just thought of a worse one: "Me and Jenny are going" instead of "Jenny and I are going". Or am I just a saddo?
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 10:45 AM
  #6  
Bernie
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Just realised I didn't answer the last part of your question:

You visit historic sites (ie places) but go to see the sights (ie things to see), thus you can have various sights at an historic site.
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 10:46 AM
  #7  
tommy
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Kavey - As an American, I must ask - what are you talking about with "Nite"?
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 10:50 AM
  #8  
Kavey
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Often when I am in the States i see signs and articles using NITE as the spelling for Night, and TONITE and the spelling for tonight.

It's so yucky.

Most of the differences in spelling are cool, infact I even read recently that the American spellings of words such as colo*r and favo*r are the original spellings and that English in England changed after the pioneers took it to US to include the additional U

Don't know if it's true or not

Kavey
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 10:50 AM
  #9  
Ursula
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Finally, some clear words about things people whose first language is NOT English/American. I tell you, this board is most helpful in a lot of respects. ;-)

Vielen Dank, folks!

 
Jul 18th, 2001, 11:03 AM
  #10  
russ i
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Kavey,

While it is true that in brand names and signage, American businesses often "abbreviate" words such as "Drive-thru" and "Nite-Lite", we know that these are not the correct spellings and would not use them in any kind of formal document, any more than we would use 'N' for "and" just because of establishments called "In 'N' Out Burger" and "Stop 'N' Go" stores.

Having said that, neither British nor American English is the same as it was 200 years ago, so I expect that the evolution of the language will continue in this direction of spelling "simplification".

Cheers.
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 11:28 AM
  #11  
Al Godon
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As my high school history teacher was prone to say:
On July 1, 2, and 3 of 1863, the battlefield at Gettysburg was quite a sight. Shortly thereafter it became a
historic site. And it is an event that historians cite when discussing the Uncivil War.
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 12:12 PM
  #12  
s.fowler
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Nice post Al!
In studxent papers I get site/cite mixed up all the time. In the assignments I give they are often "siting" when they should be "citing"
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 12:34 PM
  #13  
cmt
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I'm citing a good site that lists European sites with the best sights.
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 12:37 PM
  #14  
Ursula
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cmt: ... and what is the URL of that site please? ;-)
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 01:22 PM
  #15  
cmt
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Hungry? Let's pare a pair of nice pears and settle down to read this site:

http://www.cooper.com/alan/homonym_list.html
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 01:52 PM
  #16  
Paule
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Wonderful post! I find this topic interesting and have noticed that those 2 words are often confused.

And I'm curious here; Kavey refers to a "tourist site"; but I think that the correct usage is "tourist sight", as in a tourist place that we go to see. A historical site may be a tourist sight.

Anyone want to chime in with their opinion?
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 04:47 PM
  #17  
clairobscur
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Kavey,

I don't think you're right about "color" or "favor" being the original spelling, since I believe these words come from the normandy dialect : coulour and favour (as opposed to the parisian dialect which would become the regular french : "couleur" and "faveur").
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 04:56 PM
  #18  
Art
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Of course, several years ago stop and shop merged with A and P and now its called Stop and *
 
Jul 18th, 2001, 07:26 PM
  #19  
YS
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There's a web SITE in SIGHT!!!
 
Jul 19th, 2001, 03:40 AM
  #20  
topper
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And?
 

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