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Re: Sic

Posted by Bob on January 20, 2000

In Reply to: Re: Sic posted by ESC on January 20, 2000

: : : : Short question: what is the meaning and origin of "sic"? Is it Latin or does it have any connection to "sick"?

: : : : Thanks in advance,
: : : : Richard

: : : sic (Latin) literally 'seek.' so, thus, as it was, in this way; inserted parenthetically into a text to indicate the occurrence of an anonmaly or misspelling which has not been corrected for the purpose of the quotation. From "Le Mot Juste" (Vintage Books).

: : I can't agree with your source. The usual definition is "thus" or "as written."Lifting from an online Latin dictionary:
: : sîc (old form sîce, Plaut. Rud. 2.4.12; also seic, C. I. L. 818), adv. [for si - ce; si, locat. form of pron. stem sa- = Gr. ho, ha, or hê, and demonstr -ce; v. Corss. Ausspr. 1, 777], so, thus, in this or that manner, in such a manner, in the same way or manner, in like manner, likewise, to this or that extent or degree, to such a degree, in this or that state or condition, in such a condition (syn. ita); sic refers, I. To a previous fact, description, or assumption.--II. To a subsequent independent sentence, = thus, as follows.--III. As a local demonstrative (deiktikôs), referring to something done or pointed out by the speaker, = thus, as I do it; thus, as you see, etc.

: : In other words, it's usually found in quoted material, inserted by an editor with a snotty attitude, who wants to show up an error in the quote, to say "it's not my fault. don't blame me."

: I always thought it meant "spelled incorrectly."
I remember somebody (perhaps Will Strunk?) writing that if you quote someone at length, you can add (sic) at the first misspelling or grammatical error or whatever, but repeating it at every error was just plain rude.