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[sic]: We explain the meaning of the term

There are some special terms in editorial usage. If the abbreviation [sic] catches your eye while reading an article and you don't know the meaning, our guide explains what it's all about.

Important note: [sic] is used to mark citations in certain cases.

Proper citation is mandatory in serious journalism. Aids such as [sic] are therefore all the more important.

This is how [sic] comes into play - and this is what it means

The abbreviation [sic] refers to the Latin phrase "sic erat scriptum", which means "so it was written". It is therefore an editorial note.
  • Application of this note is always in connection with quotations, if they contain an error in the original.
  • With [sic] it is pointed out that the error actually arises from the original quotation and not the editing.
  • The spelling in square brackets instead of round brackets is standard.
The understanding should thus not be difficult, since the meaning of [sic] is quite clearly defined.

By Morra Letsinger

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