Editing mistakes in posts while quoting.

I understand that changing someone’s post while quoting it is a bad thing and I understand that. I would be very upset if I had posted something that said one thing and someone changed it to say something else.

My question is about when quoting someone who has made a typo/spelling mistake/phone autocorrect mistake in one of the more lighthearted threads.

Say, for example, someone used “tongue” instead of “through” and its obvious that the poster meant “through”.

It always mildly embarrasses me to see my typos quoted, so I always want to correct the typo when quoting.

As long as I’m doing it to avoid possibly embarrassing the poster that I’m quoting and not with any malice, would it be OK?

Somebody once graciously corrected a typo in one of my posts when they quoted it (and I was very grateful. It was a stupid, but simple, mistake). The post got modded for altering quotes. No warning or anything, just a gentle reminder.

I guess a hard line is easier to enforce than judging which changes are forbidden and which are ok.

No, you shouldn’t do it. Right off the bat, maybe the poster meant to do it and you missed a joke or misread the sentence. I just ignore the mistake, then you steer clear of the ‘don’t edit quotes’ rule and you don’t have to worry about another poster asking you why you corrected a ‘mistake’ that wasn’t actually a mistake, which can derail a thread.

Even in newspapers or online media outlets you’ll see the author right SIC within a quote with a mistake in it* to indicate that the mistake was there when they got it.

*Lately I’ve seen SIC used when the author is transcribing something that was said, but that seems, honestly, more to say ‘haha, this person doesn’t speak well’.

One should always quote people exactly as it was written.
Anyone can misspell: to alter the past to your perception alters the future.

Thank you. Both for understanding why I’m asking and for the real answer.

I won’t do it. Sorry friend, your simple yet easy to make typo will live forever!

It’s a nice thought, but please don’t do it. “Don’t edit text inside the quote boxes” is a simple rule. “Don’t edit text inside the quote boxes unless you’re fixing what you believe to be a mistake” would eventually get complicated.

That’s true. On some level (and I’ve seen this before), there’s a not-so-bright line between “you made a mistake in spelling” and “you made a mistake in your thinking”.

How does the community feel about the editorial practice of marking glaring textual errors in quoted material with “[sic]”? I can see how it can be used passive-aggressive jerkishly (“Look here, he can’t even spell correctly”), but the idea is that if you quote something with source errors, you disclaim the error (“I didn’t make this mistake; it came this way.”) while reporting it faithfully.

I note that google found this thread regarding “[sic]” used for “comic effect”… the meaning of which in the context of the thread didn’t particularly approach the jerkish sense I mentioned. Mildly mocking by irony, perhaps, which is a more tame form of jerkish (and only if meant jerkishly).

Well, I’m rambling again. I hope there’s something in there to talk about, particularly the editorial use of “[sic]”.

I don’t think [sic] needs to be used here where we just push the “quote” button. I do think it makes sense in a newspaper where someone is retyping the quote.

When I’ve quoted from a (linked!) external source, I’ll occasionally use square brackets to clarify a word or integrate it into my sentence. Common examples are when the entire piece has been talking about a specific person or thing, but the quote uses he/she/they/it - I’ll put the noun or name in square brackets.

This, of course, is only done to clarify and never done to alter the meaning. This is consistent with every every style manual I’ve used, so I figured it’s fine. Is it?

There’s no reason to use sic when you’re simply using the quote function to quote another post. The purpose of sic in written material is to show that the mistake was in the original, and was not on the part of the person making the quote. Here, you can easily see that the mistake was in the original so there is no need to point it out.

Even if well meant, “correcting” someone else’s post can potentially lead to misunderstandings or other problems, so don’t do it.

Yes, if done for clarification, using brackets, it’s fine.

Similarly, you can trim a quote using ellipses or other indications that some text is missing.

That makes sense. If it’s obviously a quote generated by the “Quote” button (because the attribution is a link back to the quoted post), I agree that [sic] is redundant.

It seems the only place you can really justify using [sic] is if you’re quoting something completely unavailable by hyperlink… and if it’s supposed to be a cite in a debate, that presents its own problems, just because it’s hard to accept a citation you can’t easily read yourself.

You’re not supposed to edit someone’s spelling mistakes. You’re supposed to mock them relentlessly.

Them’s the rules.

But if you do, be assured that Gaudere’s Lawwill extract its revenge.:wink:

Speaking of exacting revenge, Gaudere didn’t take long!:wink:

Of course. It’s a law!:smiley:

Hey! I don’t see any errors in your post! You’re breaking the law!

(I even checked to make sure I spelled Gaudere right and didn’t use it’s when I meant its.)

“Extract revenge” is so widespread, including in respected publications (Bondholders Extract Revenge on Fee-Hungry Bankers) that it is practically common usage now.

I really wanted to put [sic] in this quote right after the word “right” but I refrained due to the logic in the posts following and because there’s a good chance I have an error in my own post!

and after SIC (it’s not an acronym or initialisim; you don’t capitalize it).

Irregardless, it still sounds funny.