Today’s Word Nerd will look at three words that have almost nothing in common except pronunciation, and yet they get mixed up all the time. Just for fun, we’ll throw in a suffix that you’ll probably never use.
The physical location where something is, was or will be, such as the site of a building or battle. On the Internet, site refers to a virtual location.
The ability to see, or something to look at.
Site dates from around 1350; it’s Middle English, derived from the Latin situs, meaning position, arrangement, location.
Cite originates around 1400; late Middle English, from the Latin citāre, to hurry or to set in motion.
Sight first appears before 950; from the Old English sihth, by way of the German Gesicht meaning face.
a suffix used in biology to create cell names and classifications; a word ending in -cyte is a name of a cell. Example: lymphocyte.
-cyte comes from New Latin -cyta, from the Ancient Greek kutos container, vessel, jar.
If you site an author, you’re identifying his location.
If you mention the sight of a historic event, you’re talking about watching it happen.