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Sic is a Latin word meaning "thus", "so", "as such", or "in such a manner". In writing, it is placed within square brackets and usually italicized – [sic] – to indicate that an incorrect or unusual spelling, phrase, punctuation, and/or other preceding quoted material has been reproduced verbatim from the quoted original and is not a transcription error.[1]

It had a long vowel in Latin (sīc), meaning that it was pronounced like the English word "seek"; however, it is normally anglicised to /'sɪk/ (like the English word "sick").


[edit] Usage

The word sic may be used either to show that an uncommon or archaic usage is reported faithfully: for instance, quoting the U.S. Constitution:

The House of Representatives shall chuse [sic] their Speaker...

or to highlight an error, sometimes for the purpose of ridicule, as in these examples:

Warehouse has been around for 30 years and has 263 stores, suggesting a large fan base. The chain sums up its appeal thus: "styley [sic], confident, sexy, glamorous, edgy, clean and individual, with it's [sic] finger on the fashion pulse."[2]

It is also sometimes used for comic effect:

The Daily Mail was the first newspaper [sic] …

If text containing a quotation is itself quoted in a third text, it may not be possible for a reader to tell whether any "[sic]" in the inner quotation was added by the writer of the second text or the writer of the third text, or whether the anomaly highlighted was introduced by the first writer or the second. One way to show the source is to add "(bracketed material in original)" or a similar parenthetical reference at the end of the quotation.

[edit] Derivation

Sic is a Latin word meaning so, thus, in such a manner.[3] It is sometimes erroneously thought to be an acronym from any of a vast number of phrases such as "spelling is correct", "spelled incorrectly", "same in copy", "spelling intentionally conserved", "spelling included", "said in context", or "sans intention comique" (French: without comic intent). These "backronyms" are all false etymologies.[4]

[edit] See also

Look up sic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Wilson, Kenneth G. (1993). "sic (adv.)". The Columbia Guide to Standard American English.. Columbia University Press. Retrieved on 2007-06-15. 
  2. ^ Ashworth, Anne (2006-06-21). "Chain reaction: Warehouse". The Times.,,26930-2234374,00.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-06. 
  3. ^ Lewis, C. T.; Short, C. (1879). A Latin Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 
  4. ^ "What does (sic) mean?". The Guardian.,5753,-23558,00.html. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
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