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Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Pain of Plagiarism

If you're still working your way through the Pivot Blogfest, my answers are here

As you are struggling to compose love notes and Valentines to your significant others, what better time for a cautionary tale about the perils of plagiarism?  

For the record, I've never knowingly plagiarized anything.

I went out with a guy back in high school.  It was one of those weird situations where I liked him for a time (probably because he was new), but he didn't know I existed until the spell was broken.  But eventually he did ask me out and I agreed, better late than never, right?

As it turned out, it was short lived.  Even though my friends (and even my mom) thought he was good looking, my heart was never in it.

He had all the makings of a good boyfriend though.  He was thoughtful and romantic and even wrote me poetry ahem, lyrics.  Apparently cool guys write lyrics.

At first I was flattered, until i happened to show one of his letters to a friend who told me they were lyrics from XYZ song.  

The sentiment behind the lyrics was lovely.  But his trying to convince me he had written them when he knew he hadn't was too much.  If he had said (or written) "I was listening to this song and thought of you."  I would have been perfectly satisfied.

So remember, feel free to add a little poetry or a few lines from your favorite romantic ballad in your sweetie's Valentine, just make sure he/she knows when it's not an original composition.


Melanie Sherman said...

Even quotation marks would have been okay if were an obvious song, like:

"I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end..."

But, yeah, if he tried to pass them off as his own, two thumbs down. Well, unless he happened to be James Taylor.

Great post. :)

Jennifer Hillier said...

Awww... he plagiarized. Clearly he meant well, but I would have reacted the same way!

The Good Wifehold said...

Ohhh that's kind of sweet - he was just trying to impress you. I know I know... one should be confident in themselves not to lie to impress. But he was just a kid, hopefully he learned his lesson. TGW
PS- yes you're right plagiarism is a serious offense.

Saumya said...

Haha, wow. Well at least he tried?? That's actually kind of charming.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Believe me, if I wrote anything like that, my wife would know it wasn't original!

Mary Vaughn said...

Ha ha! You're sure a tough audience. Maybe you would have seen the *sweetness* if you had liked him more.

aspiring_x said...

ha! oh vicki!
poor guy. poor,poor, confused,insecure, smitten thief.

Laurel Garver said...

Fun story. You totally have to work that into a novel somewhere--the insecure guy who thinks he's found the perfect formula to win the girl. And it backfires. :-)