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[sic]

I have always wondered what [sic] means. The most recent example I have seen was: ‘I supposed I could write a couple of thousands [sic] words on that trip . . . But I spare you.’ I have run across it in different contexts and never really understood what it meant. Thanks

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I can't remember the literal Latin meaning offhand, but it is used when something looks like a mishtake [sic], but was actually intended that way. In the example above, the author was probably quoting someone else, and inserted [SIC] to show that the grammatical error (THOUSANDS) was in the original quotation.

dave January 8, 2005 @ 4:33AM

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Yes, it is only used in a direct quotation. You can also use "[sic]" to avoid confusion. Suppose you had a quotation in which someone wrote an ellipsis (like this quote from a friend's e-mail):

"Well... maybe if you want to... we can go eat at that new Thai place tonight."

Normally the ellipsis (the three dots) are used within a quotation to show omitted material. But my friend used them to show a pause in thought. So to avoid confusion when quoting the material, I could write this:

"Well... [sic] maybe if you want to... [sic] we can go eat at that new Thai place tonight."

I think but I'm not absolutely sure (and I'm too lazy to look it up since Christ it's early) that it's Latin for "such."

speedwell2 January 8, 2005 @ 6:38AM

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Noah, you're correct... "sic" means "thus" or "so" in Latin.

I know why I thought it meant "such." It does... if you're speaking the Doric (Aberdonian Scots). Let this be a lesson to me to not try to speak two languages at one time. Heh. :)

speedwell2 January 11, 2005 @ 8:15AM

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It should be noted that it doesn't ALWAYS have to be used in a quote. SIC can be used any time something looks out of place, e.g. if a particular word or name is spelled unusually and there is the possibility of confusion.

dave January 12, 2005 @ 5:35PM

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You may be writing about someone whose name has an unusual spelling. I have a friend called Allison [sic], for example.

dave January 14, 2005 @ 1:43AM

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Yes.

speedwell2 January 20, 2005 @ 9:48AM

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Not necessarily an error, either -- could be something that just appears to be an error, but is in fact correct, as in the example I gave.

dave January 22, 2005 @ 3:46AM

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you use (sic) when you are quoting someone and they have made a mistake or grammatical error, to show that the error was from the quote, and not in the re-writing of the quote.
not sure exactly what it means but i use "said in context" or "spelling in context" to help remember

ahadbhai August 19, 2007 @ 6:06PM

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