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Tuesday, November 29, 2005 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

what does [sic] means?

I always wondered why these three little letters appear next to misspellings and other mistakes. As with many grammatical issues, I learned that Latin is to blame."Sic" is Latin for "thus." Yeah, that didn't clear it up for me either. But apparently, since the 1880s, writers have used [sic] next to quotations that include errors.

This little notation means, "Hey, I know this quote looks wrong, but it was that way when I found it, so don't blame me." Maybe the original text used archaic spelling or the original writer just messed up. But the person who's quoting that text is aware of the earlier mistake and wants you to know it.

[Sic] is shorthand for all that, at least to scholarly types.

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