1) Strč prst skrz krk (thanks, Songdog!). (“Strč prst skrz krk is a Czech and Slovak tongue-twister meaning ‘stick finger through throat’.”)

2) bad grammar makes me [sic] (thanks, dame!).


  1. I like this one.
    Or perhaps this one. *giggles*

  2. parvomagnus says

    I’ve seen that second shirt before; I always feel like out-snobbing it and asking, “seek what?”

  3. bad grammar makes me [sic]
    It goes without saying that…

  4. Basso Profundo says

    Anyone got a link to an audio file of someone reciting that tongue twister?

  5. RavinDave says

    And, ironically, you can only pronounce: “Strč prst skrz krk” correctly with a finger through your throat.

  6. Basso,
    try here.

  7. God, I hate sic. I think it’s only used by people who want, with a wink at the reader, to laugh at the people they’re quoting. How small.
    Does anyone know anything about its history?

  8. Nothing on the history, really, but there is a short Wikipedia article about sic here.

  9. I think a better translation of “strč prst skrz krk” would be “stick a finger in your throat.” Skrz means “through” (in the sense of motion through something), but in this sense is probably closer to “in” or “into.”
    And that’s not really an especially difficult thing to say with a native English speaker’s toungue. Czech has some wonderfully awkward consonant cluster laying about in some fairly common vocabulary, like “skříň” (wardrobe), which after 2 and change years of studying the language, I still can’t pronounce properly.

  10. What’s so weird about “skříň”, except for ř?

  11. I’m with you, James. There’s a guy at TWOP who puts “sic” into quotes from characters – like this: “There’s [sic] too many people like that around.”
    I personally save [sic] for things that are incomprehensible.
    Hey – maybe that means we’re just confident no one would ascribe the error to us?

  12. [sic] has an important function when used in a scholarly context to indicate that an unusual spelling or usage that might be taken for a typo is in the original. Unfortunately, it is a magnet for twits as well.

  13. While we’re on the subject of sic, I have a usage query for the Hatters. If a quoted text contains an obvious typo (for example “attack” for “attach”), should I leave it as is and add a [sic], or should I just correct it without further comment? Or a third option? Perhaps something like ‘attac[h]’? or ‘attack [sic: =attach]’? There must be an official line on this.
    BTW I loved the T-shirt but would prefer it without the clipart. What it is to be fussy.

  14. Nomis, I think it’s acceptable to leave it as is and insert a [sic], or to correct it, provided there’s a footnote or something informing the reader that the original contained such and such a typo.
    Ridger, that’s terrible. It suggests that he believes there’s an objective reality about there is/are verb agreement, which is not the case at all. That to me, is a clear misuse.
    That wiki page on [sic] appears to have been copy-pasted straight out of a Guardian column, indeed it asks for better sources at the top. I have a comprehensive guide to Latin tags and phrases at home, if no one’s given a good account by the time I get there, I’ll do a little bit of copy-pasting myself!

  15. Consonant clusters are genuinely difficult. My son had a hard time learning to say “Squirt” (the pop), which he called “Stroot”.

  16. You can check this link. There are high quality t-shirts at this store. Here is the link:

  17. David Marjanović says

    Consonant clusters are genuinely difficult.

    Fine, but in strč prst skrz krk there is no consonant cluster longer than two consonants, because the r is always syllabic here. There’s not even a plosive cluster. No comparison to German geröntgt “X-rayed”.
    Sounds best with tightly clenched jaws. (Then it’s easiest to get the r right.)

  18. David Marjanović says

    That happens when I don’t write the parts of a post in the right order. I mean that strč prst skrz krk sounds best with the teeth in occlusion.

  19. The site with the quadruple letter words in the other thread also has a page with long strings of consecutive consonants. It uses an orthographic definition, but some of the English and German words still end up with long clusters. latchstring was the required Jeopardy response (i.e., question) the other day.

  20. Latchstring, yes. But how about Hirschsprung’s [disease] (in SOED)?

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