The Latin adverb sic ("thus", "just as"; in full: sic erat scriptum, "thus was it written")inserted after a quoted word or passage indicates that the quoted matter has been transcribed or translated exactly as found in the source text, complete with any erroneous, archaic, or otherwise nonstandard spelling. It also applies to any surprising assertion, faulty reasoning, or other matter that might be likely interpreted as an error of transcription.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, adjective, determiner, clause, preposition, or sentence. Adverbs typically express manner, place, time, frequency, degree, level of certainty, etc., answering questions such as how?, in what way?, when?, where?, and to what extent?. This function is called the adverbial function, and may be realized by single words (adverbs) or by multi-word expressions.
A transcription error is a specific type of data entry error that is commonly made by human operators or by optical character recognition programs (OCR). Human transcription errors are commonly the result of typographical mistakes; putting one’s fingers in the wrong place while touch typing is the easiest way to make this error. Electronic transcription errors occur when the scan of some printed matter is compromised or in an unusual font – for example, if the paper is crumpled, or the ink is smudged, the OCR may make transcription errors when reading.
The usual usage is to inform the reader that any errors or apparent errors in quoted material do not arise from errors in the course of the transcription, but are intentionally reproduced, exactly as they appear in the source text. It is generally placed inside square brackets to indicate that it is not part of the quoted matter.
Sic may also be inserted derisively, to call attention to the original writer's spelling mistakes or erroneous logic, or to show general disapproval or dislike of the material.
Though occasionally misidentified as an abbreviated word, sic is a Latin adverb used in English as an adverb, and, derivatively, as a noun and a verb.
The adverb sic, meaning "intentionally so written", first appeared in English circa 1856.It is derived from the Latin adverb sīc, which means "so, thus, in this manner".
According to the Oxford English Dictionary , the verbal form of sic, meaning "to mark with a sic", emerged in 1889, E. Belfort Bax 's work in The Ethics of Socialism being an early example.
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world. The second edition, comprising 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, was published in 1989.
On occasion, sic has been misidentified as an acronym (and therefore sometimes misspelled with full stops/periods): "s.i.c." is said to stand for "spelled in context", "said in copy", "spelling is correct", "spelled incorrectly", and other such folk etymology phrases.These are all incorrect and are simply backronyms from sic.
An acronym is a word or name formed as a type of abbreviation from the initial components of a phrase or a word, usually individual letters, as in NATO or scuba, sometimes syllables, as in Benelux, or a mixture of the two, as in radar.
Folk etymology or reanalysis – sometimes called pseudo-etymology, popular etymology, analogical reformation, or etymological reinterpretation – is a change in a word or phrase resulting from the replacement of an unfamiliar form by a more familiar one. The form or the meaning of an archaic, foreign, or otherwise unfamiliar word is reanalyzed as resembling more familiar words or morphemes. Rebracketing is a form of folk etymology in which a word is broken down or "bracketed" into a new set of supposed elements. Back-formation, creating a new word by removing or changing parts of an existing word, is often based on folk etymology.
A backronym, or bacronym, is a constructed phrase that purports to be the source of a word that is an acronym. Backronyms may be invented with either serious or humorous intent, or they may be a type of false etymology or folk etymology.
Use of sic greatly increased in the mid-twentieth century.For example, in United States state-court opinions before 1944, sic appeared 1,239 times in the Westlaw database; in those from 1945 to 1990, it appeared 69,168 times. The "benighted use" as a form of ridicule, deserved or otherwise, has been cited as a major factor in this increase.
The "immoderate" use of sic has created some controversy, leading some editors, including bibliographical scholar Simon Nowell-Smith and literary critic Leon Edel, to speak out against it.
Sic, in its bracketed form, is most often inserted into quoted or reprinted material to indicate meticulous accuracy in reproducing the preceding text, despite appearances to the reader of an incorrect or unusual orthography (spelling, punctuation, grammar, syntax, fact, logic, etc.).Several usage guides recommend that a bracketed sic be used primarily as an aid to the reader, and not as an indicator of disagreement with the source.
A sic may show that an uncommon or archaic expression is reported faithfully,such as when quoting the U.S. Constitution: "The House of Representatives shall chuse [sic] their Speaker ..." Several writing guidebooks discourage its use with regard to dialect, such as in cases of American and British English spelling differences. The appearance of a bracketed sic after the word analyse in a book review led Bryan A. Garner to comment, "all the quoter (or overzealous editor) demonstrated was ignorance of British usage".
The use of sic can be seen as an appeal to ridicule, whether intentional or not, because it highlights perceived irregularities. The application of sic with intent to disparage has been called the "benighted use" because it reflects a "false sense of superiority" in its users. [ improper synthesis? ]The following example from The Times of London demonstrates how the interpolation of sic can discredit a quoted statement.
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."
Occasionally a writer places [sic] after his own words, to indicate that the language has been chosen deliberately for special effect, especially where the writer's ironic meaning may otherwise be unclear. 's 1955 book Nine Men:Bryan A. Garner dubbed this use of sic "ironic", providing the following example from Fred Rodell
[I]n 1951, it was the blessing bestowed on Judge Harold Medina's prosecution [sic] of the eleven so-called 'top native Communists,' which blessing meant giving the Smith Act the judicial nod of constitutionality.
Where sic follows the quotation, it takes brackets: [sic].The word sic is usually treated as a loanword that does not require italics, and the style manuals of New Zealand, Australian and British media outlets generally do not require italicisation. However, italicization is common in the United States, where authorities including APA Style insist upon it.
Because sic is not an abbreviation, placing a full stop/period inside the brackets after the word sic is erroneous,although one style guide suggests styling it as a parenthetical sentence only when used after a complete sentence, like so: (Sic).
Use of sic has been noted for its potential to bring about linguistic discrimination. A letter written to the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) has been cited in the journal's French counterpart, the Journal de Radiologie, highlighting how apparent prejudices among English-language journals may be causing a higher rejection rate of scholarly papers from francophone authors –a concern because English is the lingua franca for medicine. In the letter, the AJR was criticized for its frequent insertion of sic when publishing letters written by French and Japanese authors even though its correspondence acceptance policy reserved the right of copy-editing, which could therefore have been used beneficially to correct minor English language errors made by non English-speakers. In response, the editor in chief of AJR, Lee F. Rogers, apologized for the possible discriminatory interpretation and offered the following explanation for its decision to insert sic on multiple occasions rather than to copy-edit:
It is true that our manuscript editors normally remedy errors in the use of the English language to ensure reader understanding and to avoid embarrassing our non–English-speaking authors. However, because of the seriousness of the allegations addressed, we believed that verbatim quotes were necessary. Under such circumstances, we did not think it correct for us to assume the meaning of misspelled words or the intent of the author of the letter in question.
Some guides, including The Chicago Manual of Style , recommend "quiet copy-editing" (unless where inappropriate or uncertain) instead of inserting a bracketed sic, such as by substituting in brackets the correct word in place of the incorrect word or by simply replacing an incorrect spelling with the correct one.
|Look up recte in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Alternatively, to show both the original and the suggested correction (as they often are in palaeography), one may give the actual form, followed by recte, then the corrected form, in brackets. The Latin adverb recte means rightly.
An Iraqi battalion has consumed [recte assumed] control of the former American military base, and our forces are now about 40 minutes outside the city.
According to the Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music Style Sheet, there should be no punctuation, for example no colon, before the corrected word when using recte.
A third alternative is to follow an error with sic, a comma or colon, "read", and the correct reading, all within square brackets, as in the following example:
Item 26 - 'Plan of space alongside Evinghews [sic: read Evening News] Printing Works and overlooked by St. Giles House University Hall', [Edinburgh]
|Look up sic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
In the English language, a split infinitive or cleft infinitive is a grammatical construction in which a word or phrase comes between the to and the bare infinitive of the to form of the infinitive verb. Usually, an adverb or an adverbial phrase comes between them. Examples of split infinitives include: A well-known example in the opening sequence of the Star Trek television series, in which William Shatner says "to boldly go where no man has gone before"; the adverb boldly is said to split the infinitive to go. Occasions where more than one word splits the infinitive, such as: "The population is expected to more than double in the next ten years".
The comma is a punctuation mark that appears in several variants in different languages. It has the same shape as an apostrophe or single closing quotation mark in many typefaces, but it differs from them in being placed on the baseline of the text. Some typefaces render it as a small line, slightly curved or straight but inclined from the vertical, or with the appearance of a small, filled-in figure 9.
A bracket is a tall punctuation mark commonly used in matched pairs within text, to set apart or interject other text. The members of the matched pair may be described as opening and closing brackets. Less formally, in a left-to-right context, they may be described as left and right, and in a right-to-left context, as right and left.
In English writing, quotation marks or inverted commas, also known informally as quotes, talking marks, speech marks, quote marks, quotemarks or speechmarks, are punctuation marks placed on either side of a word or phrase in order to identify it as a quotation, direct speech or a literal title or name. They are also used to indicate that the meaning of the word or phrase they surround should be taken to be different from that typically associated with it ; in this way, they are often used to express irony. They also sometimes appear to be used as a means of adding emphasis, although this usage is usually considered incorrect.
A malapropism is the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, sometimes humorous utterance. An example is the statement by baseball player Yogi Berra, "Texas has a lot of electrical votes", rather than "electoral votes". Malapropisms often occur as errors in natural speech and are sometimes the subject of media attention, especially when made by politicians or other prominent individuals. Philosopher Donald Davidson has said that malapropisms show the complex process through which the brain translates thoughts into language.
A dangling modifier or misplaced modifier is a type of ambiguous grammatical construct whereby a grammatical modifier could be misinterpreted as being associated with a word other than the one intended, or with no particular word at all. For example, a writer may have meant to modify the subject, but word order used means that the modifier appears to modify an object instead. Such ambiguities can lead to unintentional humor, or, in formal contexts, difficulty in comprehension.
Linguistic prescription, or prescriptive grammar, is the attempt to lay down rules defining preferred or "correct" use of language. These rules may address such linguistic aspects as spelling, pronunciation, vocabulary, syntax, and semantics. Sometimes informed by linguistic purism, such normative practices may suggest that some usages are incorrect, illogical, lack communicative effect, or are of low aesthetic value. They may also include judgments on socially proper and politically correct language use.
In the English language, there are grammatical constructions that many native speakers use unquestioningly yet certain writers call incorrect. Differences of usage or opinion may stem from differences between formal and informal speech and other matters of register, differences among dialects, and so forth. Disputes may arise when style guides disagree with each other, or when a guideline or judgement is confronted by large amounts of conflicting evidence or has its rationale challenged.
"Between you and I" is an English phrase that has drawn considerable interest from linguists, grammarians, and stylists. It is commonly used by style guides as a convenient label for a construction where the nominative/subjective form of pronouns is used for two pronouns joined by and in circumstances where the accusative/oblique case would be used for a single pronoun, typically following a preposition, but also as the object of a transitive verb. One frequently cited use of the phrase occurs in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (1596–98). According to many style guides, the Shakespearian character who used the phrase should have written "between you and me". Use of this common construction has been described as "a grammatical error of unsurpassable grossness", although whether it is in fact an error is a matter of debate.
A barbarism is a non-standard word, expression or pronunciation in a language, particularly one regarded as an error in morphology, while a solecism is an error in syntax. The label was originally applied to mixing Ancient Greek or Latin with other languages. It expanded to indicate any inappropriate words or expressions in classical studies, and eventually to any language considered unpolished or rude. The term is used mainly for the written language. With no accepted technical meaning in modern linguistics, the term is little used by contemporary descriptive scientists.
Many of the differences between American and British English date back to a time when spelling standards had not yet developed. For instance, some spellings seen as "American" today were once commonly used in Britain and some spellings seen as "British" were once commonly used in the United States. A "British standard" began to emerge following the 1755 publication of Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language, and an "American standard" started following the work of Noah Webster and in particular his An American Dictionary of the English Language, first published in 1828.
Guillemets, angle quotes, angle brackets, or carets, are a pair of punctuation marks in the form of sideways double chevrons, used as quotation marks in a number of languages. Sometimes a single guillemet, is used for another purpose. They are not conventionally used in the English language, although they are occasionally used to indicate that some text was translated from another language into English for the reader's benefit.
Oxford spelling is the spelling standard used by the Oxford University Press (OUP) for British publications, including its Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and its influential British style guide Hart's Rules, and by other publishers who are "etymology conscious", according to Merriam-Webster.
In English grammar, a flat adverb or bare adverb is an adverb that has the same form as a related adjective. It does not end in -ly, e.g. "drive slow", "drive fast". A flat adverb is sometimes also called simple adverb. Flat adverbs were once quite common but have been largely replaced by their -ly counterparts. In the 18th century, grammarians believed flat adverbs to be adjectives, and insisted that adverbs needed to end in -ly. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "It's these grammarians we have to thank for ... the sad lack of flat adverbs today". There are now only a few flat adverbs, and some are widely thought of as incorrect. Despite bare adverbs being grammatically correct and widely used by respected authors, they are often incorrectly stigmatized. There have even been public campaigns against street signs with the traditional text "go slow" and the innovative text "drive friendly".
Disc and disk are two variants of the English word for objects of a generally thin and cylindrical geometry. The differences in spelling correspond both with regional differences and with different senses of the word. For example, in the case of flat, rotational data storage media the convention is that the spelling disk is used for magnetic storage while disc is used for optical storage. When there is no clear convention, the spelling disk is more popular in American English, while the spelling disc is more popular in British English.
Quotation marks, also known as quotes, quote marks, quotemarks, speech marks, inverted commas, or talking marks, are punctuation marks used in pairs in various writing systems to set off direct speech, a quotation, or a phrase. The pair consists of an opening quotation mark and a closing quotation mark, which may or may not be the same character.
This list comprises widespread modern beliefs about English language usage that are documented by a reliable source to be misconceptions.
In paragraph 13.7, in the section on permissible changes to quotations, CMOS says, ‘Obvious typographic errors may be corrected silently (without comment or sic) unless the passage quoted is from an older work or a manuscript source where idiosyncrasies of spelling are generally preserved.’