Field of Science

Plagiarism, never a good thing and always so obvious

Plagiarism, now this is something us oldish professor types know about. No question about it, entire sentences from Michelle Obama's speech were lifted and used in the speech written for Melania Trump. This tells us two things: one, Trump employs some really dumb speech writers because no way does anyone let Melania Trump write her own stuff, two, yes, it was plagiarism, but what were they going to do, footnote the first lady? You see no one and no way, anyone even when writing about the exact same thing gets things that similar. So the lame excuses of same topics, same ideas, same feelings, being offered don't cut it, and these days all you have to do is take a phrase of sentence like that and search the internet, and up pops the source. But, it takes a special kind of dumbness to plagiarize the President's wife.
Once upon a time TPP had twins in one of his classes, one of several bad experiences with twins, and you know the old, they look alike, they talk alike, they act alike, they finish each others sentences, and they liked doing one report and each getting credit for it. Well, one their reports was just too, too similar to the other so TPP didn't give them credit and like good little entitled students they complained to a student judicial board who were far more credible.  Well, we both were taking the class, we study together, we work together, and of course, we are twins (said in unison with a cute little head nod), so naturally our reports come out sounding alike. Well, none of the other student reports are even remotely similar and there are at least 3 study groups in the class, so it all must be the twin thing, so let's test it, TPP suggested.  Let's give them both a couple of minutes to write 2 or 3 sentences about something that they shared and knew intimately. And further suggested that the judicial board make the final pick. The topics were things like: a favorite pet, the house we grew up in, our favorite food, our best birthday ever.  The board decided this was cool, and each twin wrote about the house they both grew up in.  Ta da!  No similarity in the descriptions at all. And then TPP suggested that they might examine the twins' records to see in how many courses they should have gotten half credit for their shared efforts. So back to the writers, Trump should fire them; it's something he really can do.  

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