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Plagiarism: What’s The Big Deal?

Post Series: In Your "WRITE" Mind

I’m sure you’ve heard about the hullabaloo in recent days of a certain famous lady’s speech.  I won’t get into the obvious “write” (yes, that’s a play on words) and wrong about it; but, this obvious blunder made me think of two things: (1) due diligence should never be neglected or underestimated, whether you are a professional or not in whatever you are writing and (2) it’s clear that way too many people are okay with taking the thoughts and ideas of another person and using them as their own because they are either woefully deficient in their ability to come up with their own ideas or they are gloriously arrogant and don’t care if they get caught doing it.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I know it’s hard for some people to articulate their own thoughts and feelings on paper.  But, it is striking when you take a person’s words verbatim and neglect to appropriately credit them.

To be sure that we’re on the same page, the Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarism) defines plagiarism as “the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person.”  Of course, we all know that academic authorities across the country can spew off countless stats and facts about the frequency of plagiarism and the damage it undoubtedly brings on the individual and the craft.  And, it’s difficult (but not impossible) to stave off what happens afterward (e.g., expelled from school, fired from your job, never again used in the same capacity, etc.).

Now, as far as due diligence is concerned, a sufficient amount of time, research and assessment is needed when writing a speech or any other written communication, so as not to embarrass ourselves (among other things).  While writing may not come easy to some, there are over 1,000,000 words in the English language that we can use; but, again, the words we use should be predicated on our own thoughts and ideas. And, NO – no two people can come up with the exact same verbiage word-for-word (the probability of this happening is extremely high which makes it virtually impossible).

Unfortunately, so many of us don’t think it’s a big deal to copy or imitate the words and phrases of other people (and fail to give them credit) but here’s a thought, I don’t know about you but I am grossly allergic to embarrassment, comedic fodder, and problems with credibility and integrity.  That kind of attention should be no where near your brand or business.  Copying, out-and-out stealing/plagiarizing are a big No-No, and at the end of the day – it’s not worth it!

Do you agree or disagree?  We’d love to hear from you so leave a comment or share this with friends.

(Note: pic courtesy of CreateHER Stock)

 

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