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I have the following problem:

I want to write an indirect citation of a passage in a specific book. The problem is that there is a literal error. Normally this would not be much of a problem (if I would quote it directly I could also write [sic!] to tag it as an error).

But the thing is that the literal error changes the whole meaning of the sentence.

To provide an example of what I mean (obtained from [1, p. 497]):

Nonpolynomial approaches, like dispatching, may not work well.

The thing is that dispatching is a polynomial and not a nonpolynomial approach. Two pages before it is even described as a polynomial approach (obtained from [1, p. 495]):

For comparison, we now consider problems that do not grow exponentially. These are called polynomial problems because [...]. As a specific example, consider the job dispatching problem [...].

What would be the proper way to handle this?


Because some made the valid supposition, that this is just a bad wording: As it was ascertained in the comments below this question, it is indeed a literal error. The error was not documented in the Errata of the 2nd edition (can be found here). But in the subsequent edition (the 3rd edition) on page 525 the sentence was changed to:

Polynomial approaches, like dispatching, may not work well.

So the example above is indeed a literal error.

[1] Wallace J. Hopp and Mark L. Spearman. Factory physics; foundations of manufacturing management. 2. ed. McGraw-Hill international editions: Management & organization series. Boston, Mass. [et al.]: Irwin McGraw-Hill, 2001. ISBN: 0-256-24795-1.

1 Answer 1

If you want to quote the sentence, use [sic] (without any exclamation mark, there's no need for that), and then explain what's wrong, e.g.,

Wallace et al. [1] state that [sic]:

Nonpolynomial approaches, like dispatching, may not work well.

We should note, however, that [...]

(I'm not sure I've clearly understood the question, though)