I'm typing out some information on patients that I've examined for research purposes, e.g.

John Doe. Height: 192,3 cm. Weight: 89,2 kg.

Now, imagine I came across a particularly rotund John Doe whose weight happens to exactly match his height - what a coincidence! I'll write

John Doe. Height: 170,2 cm. Weight: 170,2 kg.

... but anyone who reads that might be tempted to think I've made a mistake and written his height twice, forgetting his weight. How should I point out that it is in fact "written as intended"?

[sic] doesn't feel right, seeing as I'm not quoting anyone.

[written as intended] is a bit long-winded.

[!] feels a bit informal.

Are there any other possibilities that I'm unaware of? Preferably formal.

  • Why would I think that it is a mistake as far as it looks humanly statistics. I would certainly doubt if it could have been 1702 cm.
    – Maulik V
    Dec 13, 2017 at 9:29
  • @MaulikV: In times past, copyists have been known to inadvertently skip around on a page and thereby write the same thing again, but in the wrong place. Dec 13, 2017 at 9:30
  • 2
    Because even though it is possible for those two values to match, it is quite rare - unlike human error in data entry, which is much more common. You could also imagine a more extreme example with three or four decimal digits that match. At some point, you have to consider if the writer (me) made a mistake. Dec 13, 2017 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


If you feel the need to be absolutely sure no one will mistake this, I would suggest co-opting the author's proofing notation "stet" (which means "let it stand", and is traditionally used as a direct reply to a proofreader's corrections that the author disagrees with). Preemptively writing "[stet]" will then give a good hint of what you mean to anyone who recognizes it, and those who do not recognize it will hopefully realize that you are deliberately doing things a little beyond their past experience and probably are not making a mistake that they can catch.

  • Never heard of [stet] before - thank you! It doesn't seem like a perfect fit seeing as I'm not actually responding to corrections, but I agree it should get the point across in a formal way. Dec 13, 2017 at 9:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .