What Does [sic] Mean?

By Maeve Maddox

Samm [sic] asks “What does [sic] mean?”

Sic in square brackets is an editing term used with quotations or excerpts. It means “that’s really how it appears in the original.”

It is used to point out a grammatical error, misspelling, misstatement of fact, or, as above, the unconventional spelling of a name.

For example, you might want to quote the printed introduction to a college catalog:

Maple Leaf College is well-known for it’s [sic] high academic standards.

Sic is the Latin word for “thus,” or “such.”

When John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln and jumped from the balcony to the stage of Ford’s Theatre, he is said to have shouted “Sic semper tyrannis!” He meant “that’s what tyrants get;” literally, “Thus always to tyrants.”

Another common Latin expression you might come across is sic transit gloria mundi. It means “thus passes the glory of the world.” It’s a thought that might occur as one stands by a crumbling pyramid or where the Twin Towers once stood in New York City.

Where I grew up, people who wanted a dog to attack said “sic ’em!” I’ve seen it in a dictionary spelled “sick,” as in “sick him!” This use is first recorded in 1845 and may come from a dialectal version of seek, “to look for” or “to pursue.”

Click here to subscribe to our articles and grammar exercises!


107 Responses to “What Does [sic] Mean?”

  • Dan

    Pity that Samm [sic] didn’t feel it appropriate to close his quotation marks in his opening line.


  • annie

    I have always wondered. Thanks.

  • Eric

    I always thought it was an abbreviation for “Spelling Is Correct.”

    I’m also an idiot.

  • Maeve

    No, but you ARE a creative thinker!

  • PreciseEdit

    We use this quite a bit when working on academic papers. Often, the client will be quoting a source that has a grammatical or spelling problem. We use [sic] to indicate that the error is in the original source, not in the client’s ability to quote the source accurately.

  • Maeve

    Just came across this example in a BBC story online.

    —In a web posting they added: “no doubt that our attacks can be significantly improved, since we used relatively unexpensive equipments [sic].” —- The writers wanted to show that they know it should be “inexpensive equipment.” The person being quoted is not a native speaker.

  • Zeke

    I think I read on this site that someone believed “sic” to stand for “said in context”. That’s how I’ve always remembered it, even if it’s not a direct translation, the point remains.

  • Jeff Adair

    Hey Eric…I thought the same thing. “Spelling Is Correct” just makes more sense, huh?

  • Charles

    Oh, really. Good to know. For some reason, I thought the same thing as Eric and Jeff. I even took Latin for 4 years in high school, I should have known better…

  • Liz Remus

    I had previously thought it was an acronym for “Spelled InCorrectly”. Hah. I guess I never thought about that one.

  • Robbyn Heath

    I always wondered what this meant, I always see it in Anne Rule’s books and have asked several people what it means and no one seems to know. Then I got the brilliant idea to google it! Thanks people

  • Ronnie H

    I had always assumed it was an acronym as well. Something like “Sentence in context” or “Statement in context.” Meaning that in the original context of the article, the errors and omissions of the quotation make sense. With whoever is writing the article adding in things like [T]his and [A. Nonymous, 1987] into the quote make it more readable.

  • Carmen

    Hi, I’m new and thank you for your very informative column. I’ve already learned so much.

    I too, always wondered what [sic] means, and now you’ve cleared it up for me. I love the, “said in context” explannation, I’ll keep that in mind. love your column and thank you!

  • Sara Smile

    Thank you for this…I have been seeing this a lot on the web lately and wondered what it meant. I have even used the word “sic em, Sam” before without ever knowing where it came from.


  • Carlisle

    Nice post! Not to put too fine a point on it, but “sic” is italicized (though the brackets are not).

  • kcathebat

    Reading a news article about an interview with Dick Cheney brought me here. He called Osama bin Laden “Obama” {sic.}
    Had to know what it meant. Thanks.

  • CC

    I always thought that “Sic em” meant “Stick it to them”.

  • CC

    What about “ad hoc”? I, too, see that used in articles but have no idea what it means.

  • dennis russell

    the right phrase often comes in handy in sticky situations…….

  • Tirk

    To CC, ad hoc is a networking term where you share a network connection from one network adapter to another network adapter on the same computer. Common applications of this are to have a desktop that is near a modem that is receiving a wired internet signal that it can then share through a wireless adapter to other computers around a household.. Not the best method but it’s a quick fix to router issues.

    But if you read it in an article, I guess it might have another meaning.. According to wikipedia-
    “Ad hoc is a Latin phrase which means “for this [purpose]”. It generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and which cannot be adapted to other purposes.”

    Thanks, I had to look up what [sic] meant after reading an article.. I knew what it meant but I thought that putting [sic] after something meant that the original persons mistake made them literally sick. xD

  • Rod

    It’s good to know; Could you post a little glossary of this kind of “acronyms” and what they stand for in Latin and in English
    like eg. ie. ps. sic and so on thanks

  • Rod

    Thanks a lot Maeve for the link and your reply

  • Billie

    I heard a long time ago it was an acronym for “Spelling InCorrect”. That made sense usually because if you looked carefully you could find something wrong with the spelling or grammar somewhere. {sic}

    Thanks for the info. Its good to finally know what it really means!

  • Andrew


    Ad hoc does not come from computing, and is more usually used elsewhere. The term means ‘For this’, usually to mean a unique use for a given scenario.

    Therefore, it is used in computing to mean that something is created for each scenario (as you go along), just like in many other contexts (long before computing) to indicate that something is being created for purpose, for example someone speaking without a script in a given situation creates their speech ad hoc; for the purpose of the situation.

  • Bob Damnit

    @ #2 (Eric),

    I always thought the same. “Spelling is Correct”. So I guess you’re not the only idiot.

  • Max

    Coming from a military background, I have always understood this acronym to mean “Staff In Confidence”. However when reading articles, it just does not make sense in that context. Thankfully I now know what it means thanks to you Maeve.

  • Michael

    The responding emails have also helped me understand.
    What is the difference in using brackets as opposed to parenthesis?

    …and I used to be so good in English! The more I know, the more I don’t know…

  • Maeve

    I wrote a post on brackets that may answer your question: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/when-and-how-to-use-brackets/

  • michael E. Plumb

    I studies a lot of Latin, and can’t argue with the fact that “sic” means “thus” in Latin. I also agree that it is used the way described above – to indicate that the writer knows the preceding is incorrect, but replicated the error when quoting the original source.
    What I have trouble with is reconciling the two. If I reference a quote from another source and inserted “thus” instead of “sic,” it wouldn’t really explain it to me. However I do remember my latin teacher telling us that “sic” was an abbreviation for “scriptum in corporum” (or something reasonably close to that), which meant “written in the body [of the original text].”
    Admittedly, I can’t seem to find a corroborating source today, and I must admit, “scriptum in corporum” could have been a clever ruse designed to teach the class three Latin words instead of one, but I do find “scriptum in corporum” much more logical than “thus.”

  • michael E. Plumb

    In first sentence “studies” = “studied”

    Maybe my comment would have been more credible if I had gotten through the first sentence without a typo 😉

  • Maeve

    Nothing like a typo to bring us down to earth!

  • Mick

    “Maple Leaf College is well-known for it’s [sic] high academic standards.”

    This is either an excellent example of trolling or a rather funny mistake.

    The college may be well known for “its” high academic standards, but certainly not for “it’s” standards. The latter doesn’t even make sense.

  • Rose

    @ Mick
    Funnily enough, that’s exactly the point – that is why you add the [sic], because as the person quoting, you recognise that the original writer is in error. If you thought “it’s” was correct, you wouldn’t have the [sic].

  • danny

    The reason (sic) is seen a lot today is due to the amount of quotes in newspaper articles taken from the internet – and of course articles shown on the internet, which were taken from the internet!
    Just shows how one advance in communication has been to the detriment of another.
    What it also shows us is the literacy levels of the Worlds 16 -25 yr olds.

  • Tony

    I think the author has made an incorrect connection with the “Sic” used by Booth and the [sic] used in written context. I was taught that [sic] is an acronym, much like the (sp) your English teacher used to put on your papers. It means “spelled in context”, which concords perfectly with one poster’s assertion that it is an acronym for “scriptum in corporum”, however I believe the Latin would have it “en corporum” rather than “in corporum”. I could be wrong.

    The acronym [sic] is only properly used when quoting TEXT in written form, when the originator of the quoted text made an error. Such as if a bank robber presented a note to a bank teller that said, “Put the mony in the bag.” In order for an investigator to properly present the written text in his/her report, which would later become testimonial in court, he/she would write the message as, “Put the mony [sic] in the bag.”, so readers would know the originator misspelled the word and not the investigator. [sic] is not properly used for quoting spoken words.

    For textual quoting of spoken words, when the writer is unsure of spelling, such as a person’s name, the abbreviation (ph), to indicate a phonetic spelling, is appropriate.

    Brackets are used when inserting words into quoted text that are not part of the original quote. Parenthesis are used to make parenthetical comments in a sentence, which may be explanatory, but not contextually appropriate to include in the sentence. They are not interchangeable, as is commonly supposed.

    Hope that long-winded explanation has some value for somebody.

  • Zopo

    I think I will go for “Said in Context” from @Zeke sounds like the most reasonable explanation. Or “sentence in context”. That could work also.

    Thank you either way everyone I have always wondered what it meant.

  • maqui

    I always thought it stood for “spelling in cuestion”
    Yeah, I know… I thought someone else had the spelling wrong.
    I’m the true idiot, and I win.

  • Deep6DLH

    This is a much clear explanation, and much simplier. (remembering Ockham’s Razor)
    Sic is a Latin word meaning “thus”, “so”, “as such”, or “in such a manner”. It is used when writing quoted material to indicate that an incorrect or unusual spelling, phrase, punctuation or meaning in the quote has been reproduced verbatim from the original and is not a transcription error. – Wikipedia

  • Deep6DLH

    …and someday I hope to be able to spell.

  • reb

    Hmm, most interesting thing i have read in a while.

    Always had an idea of what this meant but could not have asked for a better put out explanation, what a shame for common english to have phased out so much of the old latin of the day

  • AlSayr

    For some reason I had thought this was “See inline comment” Glad I finally googled it!

  • Greg Lohr

    It’s good to learn something new everyday…and today I have!

    And I ordered the free eBook as well, so my day is off to a good start.

    ~ Greg

  • Doreen Richerson

    Great information. Now I know where to go to get answers. Thank you.

  • mcgee

    I always thought it was simply from the Slipknot song “[sic]”
    At the end of all their concerts they say, “stay sic”

  • [sic] fan

    @mcgee: I really enjoyed your comment. All of them were quite bluntly put. I thought of the Latin meaning from “sic transit gloria mundi” but didn’t see the [sic] part actually fit in the context, so I mostly settled for the idea that the writer was making fun of the reader, as in: “Sic! I told you so!”. It doesn’t make much sense. At all.
    About the Slipknot song, I know what you’re talking about. They also have an album entitled MFKR which stands for Mate Feed Kill Repeat, so the sic thing might get one confused.

  • Mark

    Tony your explanation was the one that cemented in my skull . Thanks.

  • Renee

    Right on, Tony! Thanks.

  • Dolly

    Spelt/Spelling In Context

  • by golly

    [sic] means said in context.

  • Bob

    If the “i” had a macron, it would mean “yes” in Latin. 8D

  • Peter

    @Bob: It does “have a macron” (that is, it’s a long vowel; only beginners’ texts print macrons in Latin); there’s no such word as sic with a short vowel. (But it doesn’t mean “yes” either way. There is no word in Latin corresponding closely to English “yes”)

  • Open Cubicle Network

    Was [sic] used frequently with former President George W. Bush.

  • Jasmine

    Dear Sir

    Thank you so much for the explanation.

    I was seeing use of [sic] in news stories where a news quoted a twitter tweet and used [sic] at end of tweet and i wanted to know what it means and came here.

    Now I know what [sic] means but i am still confused as to what sic stands for.

    From the replies my guess is sic => scriptum in corporum

    or it can be Spelled InCorrectly or said in context.

    Is there a exact full form of sic ?


  • John

    I thought it meant “statement is citated”. As in a quote from a published source.

    Doh !

  • sonyablade

    Is “citated” a word? Cit-ta-ted? Is that how the above meant to type? Isn’t it cited? Aye, aye, aye, I know that I have been slacking on reading, altogether, but incorrect grammar is just sad:/

    @TONY- let me get this correct.
    [sic] (<– with just words in italics) – is for rewriting a quote when a word is ..mispelled (sp) <— however, you can use this for mispellings in any writings? Doesn't (sp) mean that the writing isn't a final draft or something you don't want to get graded if there is a editing symbol on the paper at all?
    (ph)<—– phonetic spelling when writing something that was spoken?
    I have noticed that when articles in magazines use brackets ex. [He] was so good in bed… the sentences wouldn't even make sense without the word within the bracket…so is that why the writer inserts the "[He]" … when writing the acticle so the reader can understand?
    ( ) <—— used for adding a comment to the sentence?
    Oh, and [] and () are not intrchngble?
    P.S. I love how text abbrevations encourage continued wrong spelling… I bet english is going to get worse w/ each generation..I know if I forgot how to spell a word or if "i" comes before "e"..thn I will just abbreviate it. Then I never remember to look it up, so when I may have to spell it again it's moer than likely going to be wrong and someone is going to make fun of me on Facebook. 🙁 From now on, proper gammar and spelling..

    What's the difference between " blah, blah" and 'blah, blah' ?
    quotation marks? are the single ones even supposed to be used? I use them sometimes (only but I'm driving and texting:P j/k. it's illegal in WI, nowadays! Thanks!

  • Mary

    I’m going to be the redneck of the group. I thought [sic] meant: sit in chair.

    This is the first time I have seen [sic], but after reading the article and everyone’s comments I feel I have a better understanding. Thanks everyone.

  • rich

    My dog just ate something awful and it’s made him sic [sic] 🙂

  • Tony

    I just thought I would check what it meant bud didn’t think I would see a whole debat on it…there must be something better to do with what I have left of my life – Life is too short people!


  • Tony

    I just thought I would check what it meant bud didn’t think I would see a whole debate on it…there must be something better to do with what I have left of my life – Life is too short people!


  • Mario

    Absolutely enlightening. You all have made my morning. I know, or think I finally understand the [sic] used in newspaper articles. Someone above wrote about using the [] at the beginning of a sentence or other seemingly wrong parts if a sentence. Regardless this has been a wonderful learning experience.

  • dirk dominic

    sic in latin is the short version of sicut which begins a simile and is usually translated as “as in or like”. The church latin “sicut in terra et in caelo” is a good illustration of the latin usage, but most classical latin writers use the short “ut” form. In verbal form it is used for confirmation with the meaning “and so it is…like the truth”

    the romance languages have continued its usage with “si” meaning “yes” or better “and so it is’.

  • Ewald Erasmus

    I was always under the impression, and really only through inference, and thus without having any Latin insight or knowledge, that (sic) means that the author of a scientific article at least, expresses a certain amount of doubt of the statement preceding the (sic), i.e. the author implies it is nonsense. Any thoughts about this angle?

  • Ewald Erasmus

    With reference to my previous comment – would “see in contexts” be an explanation?

  • Chad

    Erik – to be an idiot means that you know better and do it anyway – ignorant of the fact – is a better description of your knowledge in that instance. I did not know what [sic] stood for at all – so this actually has help expand my knowledge base. I have seen the use for years and never looked it up before. It is nice to know .

  • crystal

    I thought it stood for spelling isnt changed. 🙂 Guess I wasnt too far off the mark. Thanks for the Latin lessons!

  • Cheri Hoffer

    Thanks to everyone, as the whole discussion has been great fun! NO WONDER we have so many miscommunications with one another as humans, when so much is subjective with a single three letter word. My best to you all! CH

  • Robert

    Always thought it was an abbreviation for “Spelled InCorrectly”.
    I was about 50% right, I guess.

  • Bliss

    So basically if I say I luv u 4ever 😀 XOXO it will say (Sic) on the end, b/c I chose to write a bunch of crap instead of the actual letters. Other than that, saying sick at the end of statements is STUPID! It sounds so childish like the ever popular “that’s sick” phrase. Who comes up with this stuff? Some 25 year old who can’t let go of his childhood? And yes, I understand that sic is actually a Latin word but the person who decided to instate this punctuation law, for whatever reason, really is just trying to be trendy and kool. It’s really NOT that sick….

  • doofus

    It’s not always to do with spelling. Often times the editor just puts it in the make fun of what someone said.

  • doug swift of the tom swift swifts

    Well, I am impressed with the clever comments, intelligent references and interesting abbreviations. Abbreviations are definately the wave of the future as we sqz more and more wrds into smllr spaces. Eventually we will do away with all vwls, dble cnsnts, cptls, cs, qs, ys nd phs. thn th lngge wll b trly fcnt nt nly fcnt bt ls fctv. tn w wl b n th glrs ftr f – . thks l fr th wndrfl rtcl.

  • Yogesh Dutta

    exact meaning of sic

  • Peter

    I understand that sic is actually a Latin word but the person who decided to instate this punctuation law, for whatever reason, really is just trying to be trendy and kool. It’s really NOT that sick….

    It’s not “sick” anyway; it’s a long vowel — more like “seek”

  • Diana

    I accidently came across this website and I have been completely entertained for the last half hour. I knew what sic meant but for some reason I was compelled to continue reading through all the comments. Some were absolutely hilarious and others were just highly informative. It is Friday night around 12:30 a.m. and I am reading a website about grammar! I love it! It also proves that I must be getting old. A year ago I would have never guessed I would be doing this on a Friday night! However, since I am already here maybe someone could explain what brackets around a pronoun indicate. I see it often in my studies or just general reading. Seems like I see it around pronouns a lot.

  • Vally

    I have enjoyed reading this debate, as you called it, so in saying life is too short is a rather sweeping and some what incorrect remark. If people enjoy something is that not living life well? I am an absolute duffer when it comes to English, caused by a head injury, it’s good to learn these things, again, and I have a sneaky suspicion you have like it also.
    Thankyou everyone I have found this very illuminating. [sic] (for any mistakes made)

  • Walter Coultrup

    Why did I read all of the above? I must be mad. The original article said it all. The rest was just waffle.

  • Eric M

    @sonyablade – single quotation marks (‘ ‘), or apostrophes, are properly used as such only when a quote or work of literature is used within another quote so as not to confuse the reader. For instance, if you were quoting your friend John who was quoting his friend Nathan, it would read: So John said, “Nathan’s note said, ‘Thank you’. That’s it.”

  • Tina

    Eric, I always thought it meant “spelling isn’t correct.” I noticed it was always entered after a misspelled word in a quotation and couldn’t think of anything else it would stand for lol.

  • Saurabh

    I started noticing the usage of [sic] in indian newspapers/magazines from few months and saw it mostly when they quote Twitter or Facebook update of a celebrity – so I implicitly assume that it is their way of reporting a smiley – until today when i decided to finally google it. I suppose I am the most ‘ignnorrannt’ [Sic] of all the folks here !!

  • Lu

    Rather conveniently [sic] can also be shorthand for “spelling incorrect”, that’s how i always think of it!

  • Ellen

    I also thought for years that it was “spelling incorrect,” but found out the truth many years ago. 😉

  • Sandokan

    If I still have a good memory of my latin classes in middle school back in Africa, here are some explanation of the acronyms you are interested in:

    1. i.e. stand for “idem est” meaning same as ;
    2. e.g. stand for “exempli gratia” meaning for example ;
    3. p.s. stand for “post scriptum” meaning a last note after the main text;
    4. sic … this article

  • Mike Lavelle

    @sonyablade… My experience with using single quotes (and this of course is off the main subject now) relates to computer programming. Single quotes usually enclose a single character (a “character” is a standard programming data type). Standard quotes enclose what is known as a “string”, another data type that is basically successive characters, the number of which can be many. The reason for their being is, memory is allocated differently for each data type – a small amount for a single char and a larger amount for a string.

  • Em

    I’m with Diana, totally entertaining and somewhat informative. (Except I am at work.)

  • mark

    as I often say (ad naseum) it’s all about semantics, so boo sucks to you if you think this is waffle

    I came here looking the ‘sic a dog on him’ usage, I think the Latin for ‘thus’ actually works in both contexts

    btw, anyone who reads the English satirical mag Private Eye is very familiar with it’s slightly sarcastic implication (“yes, that’s what the fool said”) when applied in quoting a politician’s prounouncements

  • Linz

    I seem to be the only one who also knows that “[sic]” is also the title of one of Grammy Award Winning heavy metal band Slipknot (often type set as SLIPKnoT) earler songs found on their self titled album Slipknot. although i doubt they were talking about spelling.

  • Arlene

    While reading a court transcript of my former husband’s testimony, I was amazed by the vast usage of: [sic].

    Honesty, I don’t understand why verbiage in the vernacular of the layman isn’t used for easier reading, nor am I an English major. ( Or perhaps this is just my ignorance speaking).

    I wasn’t taught about [sic] in school and am glad you have provided us with the translation for which I thank you.

  • Anurag Garg

    I think [sic] means still in conversation. This implies that the Quote taken from a larger piece of information and only relevant information is republished.

  • Yaddimahhada

    As I would have figured it, “[sic]” would be an abbreviation of
    “(the) scribe is correct.”
    (A scribe, being, of course, a person who copies down documents.)

    Given the context that [sic] appears in writing; and that, it is usually made implicit that the writer is quoting someone directly, it serves the purpose of informing the reader that the writer is not imbecile (which it does regardless of .)

    Of course as I’ve come to know English writing practices, most of these abbreviations come from Latin–which explains the “thus” explanation (which I don’t have the background to approve, or disaprove.)

    The fact of the matter is rather that, these “abreviations” aren’t just “latin.” They hold appreciable significance in both Latin,and English; and neither are truly correct, or incorrect.
    Think of “R.I.P.” Requiescat in pace. Rest in peace. Both are applicable, both are relevant. It’s not just one, or the other. It is both of them, as they occur to you, maybe simultaneously .

    They are both merely placeholders, symbols, that relay a significance in your mind, that reliably brings forth a concept from your personal well of knowledge, to assist you in advancing through your life–Preferably in a manner that keeps you alive long enough to ensure the continuation of the species. Such is the nature of the development of group dynamic, and means of communication, such as language, in the first place.
    still, I’m biased in favor of my “scribal competence” theory.

  • ½rican

    Yup. I too have discovered that it is 11:30 on a Friday night, and I am entertaining myself by reading the debate. I’ve only recently (in articles) noticed the [sic]; and like many others, I gathered that it meant ˝spelling is copied˝ or somthing like that. Fun site. Also, to all of the Latin arguments… I think that if the origin were a latin acranym, would it not have periods in between the letters? I.e “e.g. ,p.s.R.I.P. ect.? And YES. I am aware of at least half of MY spelling, gramatical (ph) and puncuation errors. Forgive me. Only 6 were on purpose. The rest I blame on typeing on my phone, KettleOne+RedBull, and of course none of this horribly crafted thread could not be possible, w/out help from the “NewOrleans public school system”

  • Tony

    Finally I found the answer to what I was searching since young. This term sic Is found very often in print media in my country. Cheer, tony

  • JMarie

    Before reading this, I tried to figure out the meaning of (sic) – I thought the first two letters stood for “Spelling Intentionally…” but I couldn’t come up with what the “c” might’ve stood for except that whatever it was, must be a synonym for “incorrect.” I just couldn’t think of a synonym for “incorrect” that began with a “c”

  • Marcia

    I had always assumed that sic represented “Spelling error Included Consciously!

  • venqax

    Nothing like a typo to bring us down to earth!
    So treu.

  • Alex

    [Sics] years after the first comment on this site’s article and they [sic] keep coming (the comments and the people with them) Your article here has helped me conquer a small point in a disciplinary matter I am having. Although [sic] has been used in the report to state that is how it came from the original source (a statement), it also means that the incorrect original comment is actually in context to the message of the statement….and hence the message has been clarified rather than the incorrect term…which is handy 🙂 Cheers

  • Mike Z.

    I also thought it was what it turned out to be, an error in spelling or quote somebody said, but it seems every time I see it, I can’t see what the error was in the first place. I look it over and think, “what’s the [sic] for? That made sense.”

  • Alice Wonders…

    When I was young, I thought the writer didn’t want to quote a swear word, so inserted [sic] in its’ place . Couldn’t for the the life of me imagine what it stood for (swearwords in contents?). After realizing that in context that didn’t always work, I defaulted to a vague idea that, turns out, applied pretty well (but still with no fitting acronym). I know that it’s Latin based, but keeping it simple, I’m now latching onto “Sentence in context” or “Statement in context” for my definition.
    Thank you for the educating and entertaining comments above 🙂

  • Arpit Roy

    Finally !!! Not knowing what ‘sic ‘meant was driving me crazy ! Thank You 🙂

  • Adam

    [sic] is an abbreviation for ‘sic erat scriptum’ which is Latin for ‘thus it had been written’, meaning that the quote prior was transcribed as it was found in the original source, complete with errors, coloquialisms etc.

  • Bela

    First of all, I love how long this thread has been active. I’m glad to know what ‘sic’ means. Secondly it reminds me of a crazy debate I had when a friend of mine who writes professionally was going crazy trying to explain to me where to put my punctuation. Inside the quotes or outside the quotes. I’m a visual artist and he was trying to clean up something i had to write. Hysterical, got rather heated. I preferred the British rules but apparently can’t use them over here. He said inside the country, inside the quotes, outside the country, outside the quotes. Still bugs me though. 😄

  • Alaric

    I have a clarification question. I’ve seen [sic] used in various contexts, or I believe I have, but am never quite sure where it should be placed. Does [sic] come before the mistake or following it? I guess that raises a lot of additional questions because there are times when an entire sentence is flawed. That begs the question: Does the sentence simply end with [sic] or begin with it?

  • Brettels

    Well it’s the wee hours of the morning and I’m trying to read a book instead i’m reading six years of comments about a 3 letter word that I wasn’t sure what it meant. I’ll never forget again.

    My kids always say “fully sic” as in great or awesome but i don’t think somehow this has any relevance to the conversation above. 😁

  • Pay Paul

    5 years later Rich, I know. But that was funny.

  • Nick

    [sic] also applies to incorrect statements of fact; it’s not limited to spelling errors.

  • Jesse

    Six years and counting! I found this thread when I wanted to confirm I was using [sic] correctly- which I wasn’t- I thought it was latin for “something like that” … for use when quoting the exact phrase wasn’t possible.

  • Ben

    I always believed it was “Said In Citation”

  • Robert

    In quotes with multiple spelling, grammatical, and factual errors, are more than one “[sic]” required; perhaps following each error and at the end of the entire quote? I ask because I have found it necessary to quote a new Oval Office resident whose error-filled “speeches” and tweets are surpassed by only his broken mind and the thoughts it produces.
    Additionally, should not a comma appear after the word “asks”, prior to the quotation, as such: Samm [sic] asks, “What does [sic] mean?”
    Wonderful site and community.

  • venqax

    This is amazing. I had no idea that sic was so mysterious to so many, or that so many thought it was an abbreviation or an acronym. Why? It’s not capitalized. “Statement as citated”? Seriously? Not, “stated it’s ced”? or “seen in cartoon”?

Leave a comment: