Our expert says:
It often is used to mean something like "Believe it or not, this actually was said by this person in these words". For instance, if the impossible event ever happened, one might write : "Today, President Mbeki apologised, saying :"Sorry, folks, I have been dangerously wrong about HIV/AIDS all along" (sic).
But P has the correct usage : you're word-for-word quoting what someone else actually said or wrote, even though it contains a spelling or grammatical error, for which the reader should blame the bloke who said it or wrote it, and not you. Thus " A recent headline in Beeld, spoke of "President Mebki" (sic) "
From the Latin, sic, meaning "THus," or "This way".
It also stands for Standard Industrial Classification, but that fits neither Paul nor Boris. Abnd Southern Illinois College, and a Shareware Indusry award. Then there's SIC@HOME: the "Search for Incredible Coincidence at home-- a scientifical project that harnesses the power of tens of Internet connected computers in the quest to prove the infinity of the universe. ... " And the Scientific Instrument Commission.
And a word used to encourage a dog to attack, as in "Sic 'em, boy !" And the Latin saying " "sic transit gloria mundi", which is not about how Gloria fell ill on a bus on Monday, but means " That's how the glories of the world pass."
(sigh ) (sic)
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