Writing eTips UpWrite Press - We Make Writing Work For You
August 2007 UpWrite Press - We Make Writing Work For You

To write simply is as difficult as to be good.

—William Somerset Maugham

Word Pair of the Month: cite, site, sight
The word “cite” has three very different meanings, so be sure you use it correctly.

“Cite” can mean “to quote,”

Be sure to cite the sources used in your research.

“to officially commend,”

A formal ceremony will be presented to cite the officer for his bravery.

or “to summon before a court.”

The city will cite anyone who doesn’t pay his or her parking fines.

The word “site” is a little easier, with only one meaning: “a place.”

That site is perfect for the new mall.

And, of course, neither word should be confused with the word “sight,” which means “the ability to see.”

Because our sight was blocked by the new building, we could no longer see the lake.

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August Writers’ Forum Topic
Have you ever received a memo or office communication that was unintentionally funny because of a typo, spelling error, or grammar mistake? Please share it with us—we can always use a good laugh!

We enjoyed a few chuckles from the responses we received. Here are two that we particularly enjoyed.

Michael C. Sheward, APR, President of Management Communications Strategies wrote:

As an adjunct professor teaching public relations courses at George Washington University, I always warned my students about a generic typo that happens all too often.

Both students and public relations professionals often write the words “public relations” throughout their copy. But in one or two of the mentions, they leave off the “L” in the word “public.”

And guess what folks, spell check doesn’t catch it. But my red pen did on those student exams.

Jenny Meier wrote to share this story:

A few years ago I was replying to an email which was sent out to some of my co-workers and meant to say “Sorry if this caused any inconvenience.” I used the spell checker and unfortunately it turned it into incontinence. Only one co-worker caught this but found it to be very funny and shared it with the others. Luckily everyone needed a good laugh that day!

Thanks to everyone who responded. Watch for our next forum question in the September issue of Writing eTips.

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Coming in September:
The Writing Process: Drafting the Closing
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eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, Inc., P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2007, UpWrite Press. All rights reserved. Visit www.upwritepress.com.