Common Errors in English Usage: Sick (adj), Sic (vt)

Here is an English usage on the adjective sick and the transitive verb sic. Sick needs little elaboration; sic, on the other hand, does, which the reading passage clarifies by pointing up its common use as a transitive verb, generally used in the imperative form when saying to one’s dog, “Sic ’em Rollo!”

However, comprehensively and helpfully, the reading passage in this document explains the use of the Latinism sic, which means thus. If you read, you’ve encountered this (usually in italic type and often with an exclamation point for added ridicule) after a quote that contains errors of fact or lapses in style. Merriam-Webster’s defines the adverb sic as “intentionally so written — used after a printed word or passage to indicate that it is intended exactly as printed or to indicate that it exactly reproduces an original <said he seed [~] it all>.” I think if I were teaching this document to more advanced learners, I would take the time to make sure they understood sic as an editorial annotation so that they might use it in their own writing.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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