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Re: (sic.)

Posted by ESC on May 11, 2000

In Reply to: (sic.) posted by Ali on May 11, 2000

: What does it mean when (sic.) appears after certain words?

When "sic" appears within a quotation in text, it means although the word or whatever is incorrect, it has been left uncorrected on purpose.

I once thought it stood for "spelled incorrectly." And I also thought that it could be used as a proofreading mark to show that, for example, a name with a different spelling should be left as is. Turns out I was wrong on both counts:

From "Le Mot Juste," edited by John Buchanon-Brown & others (Vintage Books, New York, 1980, 1981): "sic (Latin) (seek) lit: so, thus, as it was, in this way; inserted parenthetically into a text to indicate the occurrence of an anomaly or misspelling which has not been corrected for the purpose of quotation."

And from The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual, Norm Goldstein, editor (Perseus Books, Reading, Mass., 1998): (sic) Do not use (sic) unless it is in the matter being quoted. To show that an error, peculiar usage or spelling is in the original, use a note to editors at the top of the story, below the summary line but ahead of a byline."

I can't think of any good examples. "He said, 'I am agin (sic) it.'"