I can’t stand plagiarism; it’s annoying and lazy. Not to mention that plagiarism increases the chances that I'll re-read something I've already read--which is unacceptable. I'm busy! No time to re-read! That’s why when it came to my attention that yet another person was ripping off my friend cjane, I decided to write this little post.
First of all, if you’re going to plagiarize someone, don’t make it one of the most well known people in the blogosphere—especially if your audience might have a lot of overlap with the more popular blogger.
Second of all, if you’re going to plagiarize someone, don’t, because it’s incredible stupid and you’ll always be found out.
If you don’t have anything to write about that day, your first line of defense shouldn’t be “I’m going to go and take someone else’s content.” If you’re having trouble writing, try an exercise, like writing about a topic, say, plagiarism. I’ll even give you a specific topic: What would happen if I were to rip off one of the best-known bloggers in the United States and everyone found out?
I didn’t get to see the post that she apparently copied nearly word for word, but I did find another example on her blog, like this one:
Know how I know those "2 types of people" is not your idea, Miss Musing? You were 18, possibly 19, when cjane wrote that blog post and I find it hard to believe that any 18, possibly 19-year-old has that kind of perspective (my 18-ish-year-old perspective was really wrapped up in hoping I’d get tickets to the Downward Spiral Tour and showing up looking really cute for my Honors 200 course and the red-headed Canadian boy who sat next to me.) I was also in Courtney’s kitchen around the genesis of her idea and we have deeply discussed this topic over several years. I was able to place your paragraph within one whole second to this post:
The whole debacle is ridiculous. What’s worse? The plagiarism is merely a tool to build her reputation and capture her audience’s esteem. What’s even worse? She’s been contacted by a publishing company to possibly contribute to a book. Her plagiarism isn’t about what else she could add to the topic, or style, it is simple self-aggrandizement. And it’s frakking lazy.
Then we get to something really amusing:
Yes, as you can see, this person had their own plagiarism issue with another blogger. Yet, after it happened to her, she plagiarized cjane at least twice. Oh, how delicious! Like rain on your wedding day! A free ride when you’ve already paid! Wait a minute…
I found the original text to her plagiarized post:
"In the last of the sun, the Boyfriend and I took an evening walk. As the puppies navigated our way through the wide roads of our neighborhood, we quickly discovered that our evening activity proved unoriginal as we were greeted by neighbors who had the same idea.
"Hello Mr. and Mrs. Stamps," I said, passing an older couple. Having spent my childhood in this same neighborhood, I tend to know many of the home owners. The Boyfriend is always eager to make connections, so this leaves the him to rely on me for first-hand knowledge of background information as it pertains to our neighborhood history.
"Mr. Stamps is an Egyptologist and spent years working on the Theban Mapping Project at the American University in Cairo. Mrs. Stamps is a mother of five (doesn't she look so young?) and a painter. In fact, you admired her painting at the local gallery last time we were there."
The Boyfriend always listens, ear-tipped, as I talk under my breath. I wouldn't want our passing neighbors to know that I'm inclined to spill their personal resume to those within earshot.
We passed a Victorian home with a white picked fence outside.
"This is Mrs. Cronin's home." I pointed with my elbow (hands inside my coat pocket). "She was my first piano teacher."
We encountered houses with tangible memories spilling out the windows and doors. Homes of immaculate facades waiting to bloom with spring's floral offerings. We greet more neighbors who require my back-hand introductions.
"Hello Mr. and Mrs. Andover, " we all nod in salutation.
"Mr. Andover used to be the town mayor and Mrs. Andover volunteers as president of the Neighborhood Beautification Committee..." My voice like a spy.
"In fact, she helped me plant our garden this year. Now that the tulips are in bloom I really ought to invite her over for lunch and to see the garden."
As we rounded the corner home, we spotted a couple coming toward us.
"Hello." I said.
From my lack of words that followed, it became clear that I did not know them.
"That is Dr. and Mrs. Anderson." The Boyfriend returned the favor, matching my tone as we headed up the sidewalk. "He is a law school professor and she's a concert cellist..."
"Well played," I commended the Boyfriend."
You can read cjane's original here.
UPDATE to the update here.