Plagiarism is defined by Wiktionary as
Accordingly, most people view plagiarism as a bad thing–“Oh, stealing someone else’s idea are we? OFF WITH HIS HEAD!”–but is it really that tragically horrific? After all, without completely ripping off the Odyssey Joyce could have never made Ulysses, without completely ripping off the Bible Steinbeck could have never made East of Eden, and without completely ripping off every film genre since the dawn of time and/or taking an extreme amount of drugs Lucas could have never created Star Wars. History is nightmare in which all that ever happens is that the next guy along punches the last guy along and steals his metaphorical lunch money.
So why is that the first words you’ll ever hear out of an English professor’s mouth are: “You plagiarism something and I’ll cut off your balls”? Well, maybe those aren’t the professor’s exact words, but that’s the point they’re trying to get across: plagiarism is bad. Why is it bad? I dunno. Is it bad? I dunno. Then why can’t we do it? Because it’s bad! Why is it bad? (…)
And so on and so forth till the end of time, or until one of you gets hit by a school bus. Take your pick.
Of course, just because someone says something is bad doesn’t mean it is. Who’s to say that plagiarism is really all that bad? Does it prevent academic growth? Yeah, probably. Does it prevent artistic growth? Hell no!
So here’s a toast to Maureen’s noble–
What are you doing?
Put that coffee down! Coffee’s for