This question was edited to correct an error (in a quote) of "twice" to "three times".

But yet the error was in the original source which was quoted, and making the edit means that the quote is no longer accurate.

I've felt it more appropriate to revert the edit and add a note expaining the error instead, but - without wanting to get into an edit war, and accepting that while this was quite minor, further occurrances may not be - did I do the right thing? Do we have any policy or consensus on this?

If you provide a quote from a source, and if that source contains errors, do you silently correct them, or add a note to the effect that you acknowledge the error, or just leave things stand? Or something else?

  • That's actually an incorrect edit, see my comment but I agree that was the correct approach.
    – AncientSwordRage Mod
    Jan 27, 2014 at 8:17
  • Nice Query..... Feb 1, 2014 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


A quote is meant to be exactly what was said. By changing it to what should have been said, you're putting words into their mouth. (That is, it looks like you did the right thing)

If the error was in the original, keep the error. If it becomes an issue, put "[sic]" in the quote immediately after the error - this is the usual way to indicate the error is in the original, not in your transcription of the original.

A footnote like you added in is probably a bit better since readers don't have to go to the original to see why the error is there in the quote.

  • 1
    Precisely this. The very essence of the [sic] (sic erat scriptum - thus was it written) descriptor is to highlight the error in an original quote.
    – Valorum
    Jan 29, 2014 at 20:14

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