What’s wrong with a little plagiarism?

 Lies will be exposed

What’s wrong with a little plagiarism?

“I hate and abhor all falsehood, but I love your law.”

Psalm 119:163

Kidnapping of the Brainchild

“In an essay for Time magazine, Lance Morrow writes about “kidnapping the brainchild”:

book critic for a newspaper plagiarized an old essay of mine. Someone sent the thing to me. There on the page, under another man’s name, my words had taken up a new life — clause upon clause, whole paragraphs transplanted. My phrases ambled along dressed in the same meanings.…It argued and whistled and waved to friends. It acted very much at home. My sentences had gone over into a parallel universe, which was another writer’s work.…The thoughts were mine, all right. But they were tricked up as another man’s inner life, a stranger’s…

The Commandments warn against stealing, against bearing false witness, against coveting. Plagiarius is kidnapper in Latin. The plagiarist snatches the writer’s brainchildren, pieces of his soul…

The only charming plagiarism belongs to the young. Schoolchildren shovel information out of an encyclopedia. Gradually they complicate the burglary, taking two or three reference books instead of one. The mind (still on the wrong side of the law) then deviously begins to intermingle passages, reshuffle sentences, disguise raw chunks from the Britannica, find synonyms, reshape information until it becomes something like the student’s own. A writer, as Saul Bellow has said, “is a reader moved to emulation.” Knowledge transforms theft. An autonomous mind emerges from the sloughed skin of the plagiarist.”

Lance Morrow, “Kidnapping the Brainchild,”, Time, 3 December 1990, 126. Quoted in 1001 Great Stories and Quotes by R. Kent Hughes (Tyndale) p 133

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

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