The good thing about reading other language blogs is that sometimes they look up stuff that I've been curious about for a while, but have been too lazy, tired, or indifferent to do.

Arrogant Polyglot took the time to find out what "sic" means, and this is what he found: "Of latinate source, 'sic' means 'therefore'. It serves to indicate that some type of semantic or lexical mistake has occurred."

It's "used to indicate that a quoted passage, especially one containing an error or unconventional spelling, has been retained in its original form or written intentionally."

So I guess it would be appropriate to quote Arrogant Polyglot this way: "When I started my MA programme [sic] and found myself striving to comprehend academic articles, I noticed from time to time that silly little word."

Since we lowly Americans spell "program" without the "e," I can use [sic] on my turf, right?


Arrogant Polyglot said...

Oh please, MJ, don't get me started on American orthography! In Canader, we follow the Brits when we say program[me] in academic context. And no, I'm not a prescriptivist; I applaud all evolutional contributions to languages. Know, however that I hesitate to condone cutesy stuff like 'nite', 'lite', and all the others one may find in the US. Neighbo[u]r, colo[u]r and IN-surance rather than in-SUR-ance are all fine by me. I'll use the Canadian/British approach because a) I'm in Canada b) I appreciate the soup├žon of French.

But you do raise a valid point: crossnationally, would Americans and Canadians be [sic]ing each other to death when reporting from one nation to the next? Or do we simply content ourselves with necessary locali[s/z]ation?

mj said...

I was just poking fun at the sic-ing opportunities between our two countries. :)

Ok, dumb question, but I forgot what "prescriptivist" means--is that like a "purist"?

Arrogant Polyglot said...

Prescriptivist = one who adheres strictly to textbook grammar; one who abhors deviations from the standard language, etc.

Poke away, mj. Your time will come ;)

mj said...

Please, have mercy--I have a Canadian flag sticker on my car (helps with passage to Toronto). ;)