10/18/2011

Mr. Rewrite bites off more than he can chew


A cry for help! This, along with the lack of a meaningful hobby, is why Mr. Rewrite got into the blogging biz:

The issue, submitted via email: Is it sound bite or soundbite?
I searched AP online for both soundbite and sound bite (they're not in there) and then consulted the AP's preferred dictionary, where it's two words.

You've answered your own question, gentle reader. For matters not covered in its stylebook, AP consults Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, which calls for sound bite. That's good enough for Mr. Rewrite.

One of Mr. Rewrite's favorite botched media references is sound byte, which is way, way, way wrong. While he figures some dictionaries allow soundbite, none should allow sound byte or soundbyte. Bite in this case means a snippet. Per the New World, byte is an entirely different animal, meaning a string of binary digits (bits) used by a computer or the basic unit of computer storage capacity.

No comments: