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Sic is a Latin word meaning "thus", "so", "as such", or "in such a manner". In writing, it is put in square brackets and italic type – [sic] – to show that an incorrect or unusual spelling, phrase, punctuation, or other quoted material has been copied verbatim (word for word) from the quoted original and is not an error.[1]

At first, it was said like the English word "seek" (IPA /'sik/); however, it is normally said like the English word "sick" (/'sɪk/).

Usage[change | edit source]

The word sic may be used to show that an uncommon or old usage is written faithfully: for instance, quoting the U.S. Constitution:

"The House of Representatives shall chuse [sic] their Speaker..."

It is often used, though, to highlight an error, sometimes to ridicule, such as here in The Times:

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."[2]

Sometimes, sic is said to be an abbreviation for "said in context", "spelled in context", "said in copy", and other phrases. While incorrect, this still gives the same meaning when used.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Wilson, Kenneth G. (1993). "sic (adv.)". The Columbia Guide to Standard American English.. Columbia University Press. Retrieved 2007-06-15.
  2. Ashworth, Anne (2006-06-21). "Chain reaction: Warehouse". The Times.,,26930-2234374,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-06.