Mike Thurau—sorry it's pixelated. It's his headshot, because he's a columnist.
Yesterday afternoon, gentleman of leisure Aaron Galbraith sent me a link to this post on TabooJive.com,* in which Mike Thurau considers an odd phenomenon of the iPhone’s autocorrect feature. I was familiar with the name Mike Thurau from our own Combat! blog Comments section; I was also familiar with the post, since I wrote it. The beauty of the internet is that you can copy an entire piece of writing, paste it into a text document with your name at the top, and send that text document to some editor without even having to type anything. Okay, you have to type the query email—“attached is a short piece about an amusing iPhone function my friend discovered”—but there are a lot of templates out there. I initially thought that the Norberto King thing was the only piece of my writing Mike Thurau had plagiarized. Then I found this select-all copy of a Combat! blog post about unboxing videos. Then I found a whole bunch more.
Quoted source Sarah Brookover, left, who needs to stop snitching
The New York Times once again stretches its credulity to stretch ours with this article about student plagiarism, whose central thesis seems to be that kids today don’t understand the concept of authorship. Props to Mike Sebba for the link. The article contains the usual professorial stories about hilariously obvious student copying, including this classic font-shift tell:
The tip-off to one student’s copying was the purple shade of several paragraphs he had lifted from the Web; when confronted by a writing tutor his professor had sent him to, he was not defensive — he just wanted to know how to change purple text to black.
First of all, way to hand the problem off to the writing tutor, professor who does not want to have to go to academic court. Second, the article considers this and other anecdotal instances of egregious ripoff—plus the omnipresent recent surveys, in which the number of respondents who say that copying from websites constitutes “serious cheating” declined from 34% to 29%—and concludes that modern college students don’t understand the concept of plagiarism. Guess why? If you said “the Internet,” then congratulations—you’re ready to write trend pieces for the New York Times. Here’s your Zune.