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date: 25 June 2022


see also Originality
  1. They lard their lean books with the fat of others' works.
    Robert Burton 1577–1640 English clergyman and scholar: The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621–51) ‘Democritus to the Reader’
  2. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.
    T. S. Eliot 1888–1965 American-born British poet, critic, and dramatist: The Sacred Wood (1920) ‘Philip Massinger’
  3. When a thing has been said and well said, have no scruple: take it and copy it.
    Anatole France 1844–1924 French novelist and man of letters: ‘The Creed’, in Jean Jacques Brousson and John Pollock Anatole France Himself: A Boswellian Record (1925)
  4. No plagiarist can excuse the wrong by showing how much of his work he did not pirate.
    Learned Hand 1872–1961 American judge: Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp. 1936
  5. When 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre,
    He'd 'eard men sing by land an' sea;
    An' what he thought 'e might require,
    'E went an' took—the same as me!
    Rudyard Kipling 1865–1936 English writer and poet: ‘When 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre’ (1896)
  6. Plagiarize! Let no one else's work evade your eyes,
    Remember why the good Lord made your eyes.
    Tom Lehrer 1928–  American humorist: ‘Lobachevski’ (1953 song)
  7. When you take stuff from one writer it’s plagiarism, but when you take from many writers it’s called research..
    Wilson Mizner 1876–1933 American dramatist: Frank Case Tales of a Wayward Inn (1938)
  8. It could be said of me that in this book I have only made up a bunch of other men's flowers, providing of my own only the string that ties them together.
    Montaigne 1533–92 French moralist and essayist: Essays (1580, ed. M. Rat, 1958) bk. 3, ch. 12
  9. So, naturalists observe, a flea
    Hath smaller fleas that on him prey;
    And these have smaller fleas to bite 'em,
    And so proceed ad infinitum.
    Jonathan Swift 1667–1745 Irish poet and satirist: ‘On Poetry’ (1733) l. 337