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I have heard the term [sic] but have never used it in any of my transcripts. I want to say that it's used when someone misspeaks a name or calls someone by a different name, even though we know what they did was incorrect. But as reporters our job is to take whatever is spoken and write it. So that being said....
I'm working on a transcript where they're talking about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. However, they refer to him as Maslov. At first i just though that that was how it was pronounced but I looked up on dictionary.com and Maslov is incorrect. It IS Maslow, just as it is writting. So with each instance that Maslov is spoken, should I put [sic]? So it would look like Maslov [sic]. And is there a place at the end of the transcript where I need to make a notation of this?
Good question. I can tell you my own practice, but I will be following this thread to see what others do.
When I know it's right but see that it could be called reporter error, I [sic] it. And for me, that does include when someone says a cite wrong or misspells a proper name for the record. (Happens fairly frequently in court, BTW.) I do not make a list anywhere of this, nor do I include it on the index.
Spell it Maslow no matter how it is pronounced; no [sic] because there's no errror. Unlike some others, the English language is full of words that are pronounced differently than they sound. When I was a student, a veteran reporter advised me to use sic as sparingly as possible since it could be seen by an attorney as a fighting word.
Ok, thanks, Cathryn!!! I've never used it, so I had no clue how to use it. I'll just spell it like you said.
Well, nobody responded to you. I will. I have Florida teacher certification in English 6-12 and Elementary Education.
So happens we had to do a lot on Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs.
Let's use this scenario. Suppose you do the transcript with MASLOV. The transcript is done and the attorneys, the Judge and experts use it for trial purposes. Suppose someone makes a comment that the proper name is incorrect, that the court reporter transcribed it as Maslov but it is actually Maslow.
Who is going to look like f'g idiot?, you or the attorneys. Your name is on the deposition.
This guy is VERY WELL KNOWN. Whether it was pronounced right or not, you know what the correct name is, and it is easily accessible to you to get the correct name.
Another reasoning to use the proper spelling. Suppose you live in a certain city, where everybody says "washrag."
You have an illiterate-low class witness. And he says "warshrag." So happens the washrap was shoved down the man's throat and used to kill him. It is a crucial piece of evidence. It is "Exhibit No. 1 - WASHRAG." Would you transcribe the witness as saying "warshrag."?
I use [sic] fairly frequently. People misspeak all the time and I don't want them to think it is my error. Witnesses misspell names a lot, too, and I use [sic] in that instance, as well. Attorneys say the wrong exhibit number they are talking about. It's not my job to fix what they say but at the same time, don't want them to think I wrote it wrong. I don't quite know why there is an issue with it. I think it is very important to use it when it is appropriate.
However, on the Maslov/Maslow issue, I would just put it correct as Cathryn said.