The sensitivity of a binary block code to loss of synchronism (misplacement of the "commas" separating codewords) can be characterized by a pair of numbers[s, delta]such that any synchronization slip of s bits or less produces an overlap sequence differing from a legitimate codeword in at leastdeltaplaces. This definition is broader than that of comma freedom of indexdelta, which is included as the special case of s equal to the integer part of half the code block length. For codes having the slip-detecting characteristic[s, delta]there exists the possibility of implementation to restore synchronism during an interval relatively free from bit errors. It is shown that certain error-correcting binary cyclic block codes can be altered to obtain the characteristic[s, delta]by the addition of a fixed binary vector to each codeword prior to transmission. These altered cyclic codes retain the full error-correcting power of the original cyclic codes. An error-detecting/correcting data format providing protection against the acceptance of misframed data is thus obtained without the insertion of special synchronizing sequences into the bit stream.