Originality: What a Concept!

I have been on the Internet for about 12 or 13 years now, plus I have been a part of various nets on other systems before this time.  One thing that cracks me up is some people’s idea of “Originality”, but I won’t point fingers at anyone in particular… that’s not the purpose of this entry.

It seems to me that many people do not understand the idea of “quoting” or “sourcing” others, they think that unless everything written is in the author’s own words… then it’s plagiarism or not original. They couldn’t be the farthest from the truth for if everyone has to be original then about 90% of the books or ideas out there would be simply cast aside… yet that isn’t the case.

Others think that you have to get permission to use quotes before using them, once again that is not completely true.  If you quote someone then be sure to list them as a source, and remember a quote is not copying someone’s entire work and republishing it with a source.  Give credit where credit is due.

The mindset of Original Thought is the thing which makes me smile.  I fully agree that some things can be original in content, but completely original ideas are more rare than we like to think.  Take for example this entry in my blog, it’s not completely original as an idea… it is, however, my views and words on the subject.  These words may be similar to what other people think or wrote on the subject, yet this is classified as an original simply because not one piece of it is a direct copy of anyone’s writings.

In conclusion, since I am not writing a book here (which I am sure you readers really appreciate!), when writing your blogs and other writings… don’t be ashamed to quote others or expand upon their ideas, however do try to give the person credit for the inspiration.  (Thanks Ben, for your shout about “Original Indeed”).


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