Usage of [sic] for comic effect?

In many Greek magazines and newspapers, something ironic or funny will sometimes be followed by [sic] and almost always it won’t be something quoted, just something written by the article editor.

This always drives me nuts and makes me want to go find that editor and show him my disagreement with the aid of a heavy blunt object. Actually I do not remember ever seeing [sic] being used correctly in any Greek publication.
But according to wikipedia’s article, use of [sic] for comic effect is valid. :dubious: I don’t think I have ever encountered it in an english publication, apart of course from scientific papers.

So, is use for comic effect or to denote irony any common?

I’ve never encoutered it that way and I think I would have your reaction if it starts getting abused that way.

In the ridicule or irony wiki example, it’s still being used correctly at least, but the comic effect use? I don’t like it. There are other ways to say that without blurring the meaning of the use of [sic].

Of course, the way I think to do it is
The Daily Mail was the first “newspaper”…**

and that’s all wrapped up in the misuse of quotation marks that is now rampant.

Bad grammar makes me [sic].

First thing I thought of when I saw the title.

Here’s an example:


Or as Dorothy Parker put it once, “…[sic. Sic as a dog.]…”

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Aww, shit. I made a zombie.


From Michael O’Donoghue’s How to Write Good:

I just mentioned this in another thread.

It’s usually used so that an author can say “This spelling/grammar error was like this when I got it”, the way we normally see it. But lately I’ve seen people use it when they transcribe things with bad grammar. IMO, that’s a way to say “Ha ha, this person doesn’t speak as well as I do”.
For example an article might say:
I then asked Natalie where she last saw her keys before her car was stolen that fateful morning, “I seen [sic] them over there” is she could say before she had to leave to catch the bus.

But if it’s transcribed we get that you’re just writing exactly what was said and, again IMO, to write [sic] is needlessly pointing out that you’re smarter than they are AND probably pointing out that you’re smarter than your reader since many of them aren’t going to know what [sic] means.

I wish I could find that example I saw just a few days ago.

What a silly bunt. [sic].

I really don’t think that’s the logic. The rule for one seems exactly the same as the other. The real problem is people being taught to quote everyone verbatim, including grammar mistakes, while also being instilled with a general hatred for said mistakes. It just feels wrong to leave a grammar mistake completely alone.

No matter what you do, though, the other person looks stupid if you use their grammar in print. Just the word “seen” will stand out enough, as, while people talk that way, they rarely write that way. I prefer just writing it the way the person likely would have, e.g. “I’d seen them over there.” Just assume the “'d” was dropped due to dialect.

Only when quote accuracy is absolute would I do it differently, and still I’d avoid “[sic],” and just correct the mistake in brackets, e.g. “I['d] seen them over there.” That seems to be more standard now. Or maybe just don’t include the quote at all. She said she’d “seen them over there,” pointing at the table.

I generally speak standard English. But if I regularly spoke in, say, AAVE, I wouldn’t trust just anyone to “translate”. Seeing Dopers mangle AAVE through the years has taught me that dialects are not always mutually intelligible. “She be sick” does not mean “She is sick”. If a writer doesn’t know the difference, then they need to quote the words that are spoken.

Quoting someone’s words in their own dialect is respectful, IMHO. It’s only when the writer starts throwing in phonetic spellings (“gonna”) or unintentional dysfluencies that it seems mean.

Well, on a somewhat different level, it’s similar to the rule here about not editing something someone else has posted and you’ve quoted. So, the [sic] is a way of saying “Hey, don’t look at me; I didn’t say/type that. I’m just directly quoting the way THEY said/typed it.” And it does carry undertones of the Church Lady’s “Superior Dance”; “Look how stupid the quotee is! They don’t even know how to spell the previous word correctly!”