Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have seen many articles that use quotes from players like:

We gonna [sic] be working hard over the summer cause we gotta [sic] get better.

What is sic? Where does it come from?

share|improve this question
    
Related: Can you use “(sic)” in other contexts? –  Callithumpian Jun 7 '11 at 15:30
1  
Why is there a [sic] after gotta? I can understand the first one, the missing are, but if gotta is considered an "error" because it's slang then why doesn't cause have [sic] as well? –  Andreas Bonini Jun 7 '11 at 21:32
    
@Kop: That was copied from an article I read on-line. –  Raj More Apr 16 '12 at 19:07

2 Answers 2

up vote 25 down vote accepted

sic is Latin (so, thus) and is used to call attention to an error in an original quote. Specifically, it is used when quoting another to say, "this is not a typographical, spelling or grammar error on the part of the reporter; rather, the error was in the original, and we're quoting it without change."

share|improve this answer
10  
Correct. It is, however, exceedingly difficult to employ "[sic]" properly, without giving the appearance of sneering or looking down at the person or item quoted. It is for this reason that Fowler, Gowers, et al., caution against its use. It is common for publishers, therefore, to simply make a silent editorial correction and remove the fault in question. –  The Raven Jun 7 '11 at 14:50
1  
Indeed, in the cited example, the sic is most certainly used in a sneering manner. A single use at the end of the quotation is enough. –  horatio Jun 7 '11 at 18:44
2  
@TheRaven: Agreed. It would seem good practice to silently correct unless the error could be relevant or interesting. This includes mockery, analysing the error or the style of the original author, and quotes in legal texts. –  Cerberus Jun 7 '11 at 22:25

It's from the Latin sic (so, thus). Etymonline dates it back to 1887.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.