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What does [sic] imply?

You must have seen several status updates or tweets that mention sic in square brackets and wondered what it means (I certainly did!) . Let’s solve the mystery today!

Sic is short for the Latin word sic erat scriptum, or ‘thus was it written’.  It means that the quoted text has been reproduced as it is from the source and no changes have been made to the original version. This may include spelling and grammatical errors or misstatement of facts.

Note: Sic is always italicised and written in brackets to denote that it is not a part of the original text. It is also mentioned right after the error to point out the same.

Example

She texted me, “It’s there [sic] birthday party.”

The correct sentence should have been “It’s their birthday party.”

Some may ask, why use [sic] at all? Why don’t we make the correction instead? It’s because when you quote something, it is expected that you will reproduce it as it appeared in the original.

When newspapers or other websites quote something, they would also not want you to think that the errors (if any)  have been made by them – hence they clarify the same by mentioning [sic] – so the reader knows that it was written this way originally.

 

 

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