Let's go to the blog archives. It's nice to have a "plagiarism" tag that lets me pull out so many old conversations about plagiarism that were prompted by various things over the years. (The links are on the numbers.)
1. "The internet is changing the way students think about plagiarism... or — I would add — they way they lie about it."
2. "Confusion over sources or indifference to them can be a paradoxical strength; if we could tag the sources of all our knowledge, we would be overwhelmed with often irrelevant information."
3. "The real fault is not making it a point always to write sharp, distinctive prose. Prose like the stuff [Maureen] Dowd lifted called out for rewriting. She might not have known to think I can't use that because I didn't write it. But she should at least have thought I can't use that because it's dull."
4. "'[T]here is a big difference between being a plagiarist — at bottom, lazy or sloppy — and being a fabulist.' It's tougher to make things up than to copy, and yet it's Lehrer who's screwed himself more deeply."
5. "'To coin a phrase, in the spirit of the vice president-elect, you can't always get what you want, but you get what you need,' Alito said, an imperfect rendering of a Rolling Stones lyric. Then, he added, 'Did someone say that before?'"
6."My dear, it's called an allusion. The error isn't stealing, it's assuming people get it."
7. "Jerry Seinfeld's late-night rant about his wife's cookbook rival was no joke to the author's family."
8. "When you are discovered, I want you to claim — really sincerely — that you actually mistakenly believed that you remembered the incident as if it had happened to you. You can be all: 'I am chagrined and astonished that my mind could play such a trick on me.'"
9. "How is it possible for someone in [Fareed Zakaria's] position to make a mistake of that kind? The risk far outweighs any convenience in copying material like this. It can't be deliberate."
10. "Once you’ve been busted for making stuff up, you need to be sure that what you publish is reasonably accurate... though I suppose that passing on other people’s fabrications is arguably a modest improvement over creating his own."
11. "Should Coldplay be able to force Hoepfner to take down his accusatory video and apologize, or do we think it's a nice resolution of the controversy for Coldplay to escape unsued and for Hoepfner to have his viral video to leverage his band to whatever degree of fame it can get out of this amusing little artistic squabble?"
12. "'I think that’s the way Bob Dylan has always written songs.... It’s part of the folk process, even if you look from his first album until now.' Well, theft itself is a traditional 'process,' but it would still piss me off if someone robbed me, either with a six gun or a fountain pen. At least Dylan called an album 'Love and Theft,' and he's repeatedly presented himself as a thief in various lyrics. To have Bob Dylan steal some of your phrases and the Dylan fanatics ferret out the connection he declined to tell us about is to get publicity you never would have gotten otherwise."
13. "When you accuse a 6-year-old of plagiarism in an art contest, you'd better be ready to make a decision to disqualify her and stick to it. You've besmirched her, and you can't unbesmirch her. Oh, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service! You idiots!"
14. Rush Limbaugh appropriates my question, without attribution.
15. "And if our good opinion of him is based mainly on his speeches, then we have reason to examine why we're supporting him. But politics is full of stock phrases, contagious memes, and brainstormed messages."
16. "Obama defends his use of a couple lines given him by his associate Duval Patrick. 'This is where we start getting into the silly season in politics.'"