Cite & Site
This headline appeared
in my local paper today (Traverse City
to retire after 2014
Yankees’ shortstop sites
injuries as reason
The problem is the
choice of the word “sites.” A site is a place, location, or position. There
might be an accident at a building site. The site of the 2014 Winter Olympics
is Sochi. You are reading this article on a website.
There used to be a verb
form that meant “to place in a physical location,” but the last example given
in the Oxford English Dictionary
appeared in the London Times in June of 1955. It reported on “New
proposals for siting Rodin's sculptured group of the Burghers of Calais.”
Obviously, it doesn’t fit in Jeter’s case.
To cite is to bring something forward as proof, example, or
explanation. Mr. Jeter was citing his injuries as the reason for his impending
retirement. In the paragraph above, I cited the Oxford English Dictionary as an authority. Most news organizations
use style books that allow reporters to cite sources in a uniform and
The etymology of both words will serve to distinguish them.
Site comes from the Latin situs—place
or position. Cite comes from the Latin verb citare—to
move, excite, or bring to the forefront.
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