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TT #8: Plagiarists Say the Darnedest Things

23 Jan 2008

My thanks to Cassie Edwards, Janet Dailey, Lanaia Lee, and Kaavya Viswanathan for the inspiration for today’s post. As you read, see if you can guess who used which excuses. Please note I have reworded and added to some of the excuses to make it more fun.

13 Excuses from Plagiarists

Number 1
My dog died…what do you mean this excuse isn’t admissible after kindergarten?

Number 2
I write historical romance! My readers are supposed to be too stupid to catch me!

Number 3
I didn’t know…because I skipped the day they covered citations and crediting sources in the third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, and onwards.

Number 4
It’s only research material…and those academics secretly want the publicity.

Number 5
But it’s in the public domain…so no one’s left alive to fight for it.

Number 6
I have a psychological problem. (I can’t add anything to make this excuse better.)

Number 7
Someone else ghost-wrote it…even though I vehemently declared my writing is something unique to share with the world.

Number 8
I was stressed…my millions couldn’t afford me a masseuse or yoga sessions or even a scented candle.

Number 9
It was unintentional and unconscious…all 29 passages.

Number 10
I have a mental superpower. (Once again, I can’t add anything to make this excuse better. Oh, and the “superpower” is a photographic memory.)

Number 11
But I put in dialogue tags! And the spacing is different! See!

Number 12
But I did it to honor my ancestors and all Native Americans…by stealing from Native Americans.

Number 13
But I didn’t hurt anyone. (This excuse isn’t funny. It’s just sad.)

19 Comments leave one →
  1. 23 Jan 2008 4:45 PM

    Don’t you just love it?

    The Pink Flamingo

  2. 23 Jan 2008 5:01 PM

    I have come to see 6 and 10 as the same thing! Great list.

  3. 23 Jan 2008 5:06 PM

    SJR — I’m amused yet deeply saddened by the actions of these people. I think the real reason for most is they don’t think they’ll get caught.

    Sandy — I guess there is a very thin line between 6 and 10. But they still tick me off because with both the plagiarists are saying the copying were beyond their control.

  4. 23 Jan 2008 6:00 PM

    Are these actual excuses that have been offered?

  5. 23 Jan 2008 6:24 PM

    Um… I don’t know any of these people. But the excuses were amusing… but seriously sad if they’re actual! 😡

  6. 23 Jan 2008 6:47 PM

    Are these excuses for real?…sad if true.

  7. 23 Jan 2008 7:28 PM

    Yep, that about sizes it up. Very sad indeed. Great list of losers. Have a great TT. 🙂

  8. 23 Jan 2008 10:21 PM

    Nicholas, Country Dawn, Greatfullivin — These excuses are all real. I can’t make this stuff up.

  9. 24 Jan 2008 5:39 AM

    It is very sad 😦 It’s amazing what people will say to justify their actions.

  10. 24 Jan 2008 6:23 AM

    Imagine what they could do if they used all that brain power to come up with something really their own…instead of using it to make up excuses!! Happy T-13!

  11. 24 Jan 2008 9:11 AM

    I’ve been following the Cassie Edwards debacle at dearauthor and smartbitches, and I’m not sure what is worse: the excuses made by the author, or that the people that brought this to light are being criticized for doing so.

  12. 24 Jan 2008 10:59 AM

    I’ve been plagiarized. Not fun. Flattering in a way, but more irritating than anything. There is no excuse for it.

  13. 24 Jan 2008 1:17 PM

    Plagiarists are lame. Those excuses don’t fly with me…don’t copy, and if you do, admit to it and stop making excuses.

  14. 24 Jan 2008 5:30 PM

    Michele – Like Laura said, imagine what these people can do if they would use their creative powers for fiction writing.

    Julie – The CE debacle made my jaw drop, but some of the response from readers AND authors have pretty much ticked me off. I think DA and SB have been pretty professional and, in light of the threats they received, pretty courageous about the entire issue.

    My feeling is that a lot of DA- and SB-haters are using the CE issue to trash those two sites.

    JeanJeanie – Frankly, imitation, which, according to Webster, is “a literary work designed to reproduce the style of another author,” is flattering, but word-for-word copying is just theft. And I agree, there’s no excuse for plagiarism, but that doesn’t stop these plagiarists from making them.

    Natalie – I couldn’t agree more. And to think these people are adults.

  15. celticlibrarian permalink
    24 Jan 2008 7:18 PM

    Plagiarists. Ye gods, they need to find a muse and strike out on their own.

    Mental Superpower, eh?


  16. 24 Jan 2008 9:43 PM

    CelticLibrarian — These people have found muses…just someone else’s or, in the cases of Cassie Edwards and Kaavya Viswanathan, multiple someone else’s.

    And “mental superpower” were the plagiarist’s own words. I had to stop and read them over three times before I was convinced my eyes weren’t deceiving me.

  17. 30 Jan 2008 7:33 PM

    I’m not sure what you are talking about with someone plagiarizing but I don’t think I’ve read any of those books. I started Wicked, and I didn’t finish it. Happy TT!

  18. 9 Feb 2008 5:56 PM

    @ Excuse #12 made me laugh. Out loud. Honoring someone by stealing from him is just the bestest way of showing reverence!


  1. Sources for Plagiarists’ Excuses « The Not-so-deep Thoughts

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