WAR AGAINST PLAGIARISM
THE ARGUMENT : ARE WE ALL PLAGIARISTS ?
“There was no crime in unconscious plagiarism; that I commit it everyday, that he committed it everyday, that every man alive on earth who writes or speaks commits it every day and not only merely once or twice but every time he open his mouth…there is nothing of our own in it except some slight change born of our temperament, character, environment, teachings and associations”
It’s a common doctrine that nothing belongs to us universally as far as nothing is new under the sun. We cannot ascertain between life and death, as I’d not love to digress out of the main topic. If we own nothing, then who does it belongs to ? Or should the question be “what” ? Does this implies that we are all stealing plots from a single, constant entity ? Who or what this entity is undecided – perhaps, it’s the mind. But then we steal consciously, unconsciously and subconsciously. Does this implies we are all plagiarists ?
Perhaps, looking at the categories of plagiarists would decide that :
– The Self Plagiarist : This might sound odd to many but I’m certain it has been perpetrated by writers most of the times. In a situation where one lifts generously from his previous work to reproduce in a new work is still considered as plagiarism. However, this is one of the lesser plagiarism that’s not considered heinous because the argument has been “It’s my work. I don’t need to receive permission from anybody before I lift fully or partially from it”. But does that change the fact ? That’s more reason why it’s regarded as a personalized stealing.
– Accidental Plagiarist : Many people have the belief that it’s only when you lift a work verbatim that amounts to plagiarism but in some cases, it’s necessarily not limited to that. When you see a work that attracts you then you infuse synonyms of the contents used to make it look different but on a structural look, the order and meaning are the same hence the gravity is plagiarism wise. This is unknown to most people though, the belief is “Replace the word with a similar word” and it’s not plagiarism (which is a wrong conception).
‘Bola is a girl”
‘Bola is a female”
Does it makes any reasonable difference in terms of meaning and orders ? Be conscious, the things you overlook do counts.
– Mosaic Plagiarist : The Google has been a great source of information since its inception, it has however been wielded in its negative direction when different writings are lifted from different sources and fitted together to look as one without giving references to the sources. Such work is usually filled with paraphrased quotes, sayings, lines and tweaked statements which in the long run is outright plagiarism. Most blogs and sites commit this especially in the course of receiving articles from content writers. This is why it’s necessary to confirm the verifiability of such work to avoid unnecessary embarrassment. A reputable blog or writer would outline all sources. Even some books always note out their sources but the virtual world has become so corrupted that you can fix up Aristotelian principles into an article and you would be applauded because most are ignorant of the fact and those who knows won’t say. Perhaps, this is what triggered the quotation of Amos Oz :
“If you steal from one book, you are condemned as a plagiarist but if you steal from ten books, you are considered a scholar and if you steal from thirty or forty books, you are considered a distinguished scholar”.
To Be Continued…
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