An Open Letter to THE DIATRIBE:
As the 20 or 30 of you now learning from this insightful précis already know, I have been a stalwart enemy of plagiarism and un-credited “borrowing” of others’ works for many years. As usual, I have the support of King Kurmudgeon and other senior members of this Forum. However, my latest unveiling of poor Ms. Boil has ignited a firestorm of protest that has me rethinking my stance. I was especially motivated by the strident threats of my Young Demindepublicans, who threatened me in ways that only a 60-something timid shadow of his former self would find especially frightful.
First, a bit of background: I am the proud product of an excellent Catholic Education from 1st Grade through Graduate Business School that included stints under the renowned Society of Jesus (“Jesuits”) and the some-what less so Sisters of Loretto. These Educators instilled in me an almost innate respect for the words and the works of others.
One early incident really made an impression on me: I had an A+ high-school history paper savagely reduced to a mere A for (and I paraphrase verbatim) “pilfered phrases and stolen sentences joined by “___________ (my real last name) –like” transitions.” In addition, I was encouraged to appreciate, revere, even, the influence of others by a High School Physics Teacher whose blackboard-embellishing mottos included: “We Are Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants!”… Which refers, of course, to the Pyramid of Knowledge where upper more recent levels (Hawking, e.g.) are refiners and revisers of lower, earlier (Einstein, e.g.) levels.
It is from this perspective that I have carried out My Crusade for Credit here in the Diatribe… instantly chastising unsuspecting and unintentional (perhaps) contributors who have embedded or “boxed” quoted material without acknowledging the original author or crediting their source.
After the aforementioned threats and my own careful research and analysis, I hereby proclaim the end of My Crusade for Credit! I will no longer publicly call out you fine contributors to the Diatribe for not citing your material.
DISCLAIMER: I would be remiss and downright misleading if I did not reveal that this epiphany was actually facilitated by my re-entry into Politics to assist ZUKI’s campaign… that’s right, “Politics”… where I have been forced to abandon many civil mores as well as my own ethics and morals in order to simply survive!
For your information, plagiarism has turned out to be quite the current concern… especially among Ivory Tower Types who must daily contend with the “cloud” community of cutters-and-pasters that considers sites like Wikipedia public domain because the articles are not written by a single person. In truth, this is but one “excuse” used when an un-crediting quoter is quote-unquote “quoting” another quoting quoter… a little like that famous M. C. Escher drawing where the pencil held in one hand is limning another hand holding the pencil that is limning the first hand.
For the 2 or 3 of you interested in furthering your understanding of this topic I offer these references and/or searchable topics: www.plagiarism.org; “Plagiarism and the Web”; “Internet Plagiarism: A Teacher’s Combat Guide”; and “Strategies to Deter Academic Misconduct”!
As for myself, an admittedly frustrated (yeah, I know!) writer stuck in time, I will continue to parade my pedantry by providing background, details, and informative information where I hope it will contribute to the overall edification, education, and enjoyment of YOU, my loyal readers here in the Diatribe!
Thank you, thank you very much,
Just A. Jackwagon (still… tho’ not-so-much today)