Don’t miss this tip: Sound bite vs. sound byte

Do you remember a day before computers were everywhere? Then you probably know which of the following two spellings – sound bite or sound byte – is correct.

Sound bite is right. The term was first used in 1980 to describe quick, clever statements, often made by politicians, that could be played in a few seconds on the evening news. In those days when computers weren’t commonplace, the term played off the notion that viewers’ preference for such news was like taking a bite of a meal rather than fully consuming it.

Sound byte does make sense in that a byte is a small unit of information in computing. Perhaps one day this spelling will overshadow the original and become commonplace.

For the time being, though, when writing just remember this snippet: Use i not y.