In response to Kellyanne Conway's observations that microwave ovens can turn into cameras:
There was an article this week that talked about how you could surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets, any number of different ways, microwaves that turn into cameras. We know that that is just a fact of modern life.
Kellyanne Conway, MARCH 13, 2017
That same evening, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith commented wryly:
Microwaves that turn into cameras a fact of modern life? Microwaves do not turn into cameras. Fox News can now confirm microwaves heat food, cameras take pictures. Microphones [sic] don't have cameras. And microphones [sic] cannot turn into cameras. Fox News now confirms.
Note that Smith used the term microphones twice here.
- Was his usage of the term microphones a Freudian slip? Everyone is aware that microphones are used in wiretapping devices to record conversations.
Merriam-Webster defines Freudian slip as: a mistake in speech that shows what the speaker is truly thinking
- Or did the Fox News anchor really mean that microphones do not have cameras, and cannot turn into cameras? Would [sic] itself be an error?
According to Jane Straus, author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, sic is used to indicate an error that appears in the original text.
Sic is a Latin term meaning “thus.” It is used to indicate that something incorrectly written is intentionally being left as it was in the original. Sic is usually italicized and always surrounded by brackets to indicate that it was not part of the original. Place [sic] right after the error.
Nowadays, newsreaders and anchors read off teleprompters whose scripts, presumably, have been proofread several times. If Shepard Smith didn't misread the term, was it still an error?
Would it be considered a mistake to insert a [sic] when quoting Smith?
Is there a specific word for this type of speech error, if error it was, in broadcasting?
Related (but not a duplicate of): How do you quote a passage that has used '[sic]' mistakenly?