"Sic" is a
Latinword meaning "thus", "so", "as such", or "just as that". 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 from the quoted original and is not a transcription error.cite book |url=http://www.bartleby.com/68/67/5467.html |chapter=sic (adv.) |title=The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. |first=Kenneth G. |last=Wilson |publisher= Columbia University Press|year=1993 |accessdate=2007-06-15]
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").
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 or irony, 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.” [cite news |first=Anne |last=Ashworth |title=Chain reaction: Warehouse |url=http://women.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,26930-2234374,00.html |work= The Times|date= 2006-06-21|accessdate=2007-01-06 ]
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.
The expression " ["sic"] " is also used by physicians to communicate to pharmacists that a prescription is to be filled "just so", i.e. precisely as described, for example when the dosage or volume is atypical or when the pharmacist should not substitute one brand for another even when the
active ingredientis the same.
The word "sic" is sometimes erroneously thought to be an
acronymfrom any of a vast number of phrases such as "spelling is correct", "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. [cite news |title= What does (sic) mean? |url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/notesandqueries/query/0,5753,-23558,00.html |work = The Guardian|accessdate=2007-05-12]
In the Italo-Western Romance languages it was the basis for their word for "
yes": "sí" (Spanish), "sim" (Portuguese), "sì" (Italian), "si" (French for "yes, on the contrary"). Medieval Latinsometimes used "sic" as "yes", reflecting the Romance usage.
Sic semper tyrannis
Sic transit gloria mundi
List of Latin phrases
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