As my readers will know, several bloggers in our community, myself included, have been victims of plagiarism. The "perps," as they say in crime novels, are two members of a site called Thoughts.com. But I hasten to say that these two are just the thieves of whom we are aware. I suspect that there are others, and that they draw their words from anyone brave enough to bare his or her creative soul on a blog.
You know, I feel like there is something eating away at values we hold dear in our collective lives today. I can't exactly put my finger on it. It's a little like catching sight of something that flits past in your peripheral vision. You spin around to look, and it's no longer there, but you absolutely felt its presence.
Every time I face a store clerk who can't make change; listen to someone (it used to be teenagers, but they are moving into adulthood, and taking this baggage along with them) who can't form a sentence that doesn't include the word "like" several times; or see an "official" printed document with incorrectly-spelled words or tortured grammar on it, I see the "thing" in my periphery flit past. (n.b.: As I was writing this, my husband read a line from the Boston Globe to me: "His medal was tested..." Methinks it's not the medal that is tarnished.)
Every time I read of yet another scam or scheme designed to take advantage of the
The issue with basic education isn't new. My children used to bring home mimeographed tests from school with misspelled words printed on them, correct answers marked wrong, and incorrect ones marked right. I have long referred to this sad situation as the "dumbing down of our country." (I can't speak about other countries; perhaps you see it too.) But it seems that the basic reading, writing, and 'rithmatic skills are not the only fundamentals people aren't learning. Good behavior, a sense of decency, basic ethics: all seem to be falling prey to the monster in the shadows.
I don't know about you, but I find this scary as hell.
I reported the plagiarism of my words to the site administrator of Thoughts.com. This morning I received this e-mail from them:
"We have remove the duplicate of your post.... We are deliberating the best mode of discipline for this serious offence."
It's a beginning, but if you see this post anywhere but here, do let me know, won't you?