Usage and Grammar

Q. An author has insisted on placing a “sic” after quoting authors who use “him” or “himself” to refer in general to persons rather than using gender-inclusive language. We think this is a bit pretentious and that the quoted material should stand on its own. Do the wise editors have any advice?

A. The wise editors agree. “Sic” is used to clarify that an error appeared in the original and was not introduced by the writer quoting it. No one reading “him” or “himself” would think it was a typo. Please see CMOS 13.59.