Catherine Spaeth, Bulwark of Rectitude

A comment yrs truly just made on Paddy Johnson's blog. Seems a blogger stole some of print writer turned recent blogger Catherine Spaeth's words, and Spaeth JUST WENT BERSERK, like Billy Jack kung fu-ing townies in the '70s films.

Coming in late on this discussion. Catherine Spaeth, please get over yourself. Three posts on your blog about this peccadillo you discovered and all your words here in Johnson’s comments are just too much. Publishing "the plagiarist's" picture under the blog title "_____ the Plagiarist," it's just melodramatic overkill.

I'm not sure that what you're griping about (and griping, and griping…) is even properly plagiarism. As you describe it, a blogger used some of your words but "sapped your writing of all its critical bite in order to provide comparatively glowing fodder."

That’s two different issues. If he changed your meaning but attributed the words to you, that's one thing. Using your words verbatim and passing them off as his is another. It seems like the sins somewhat cancel each other out. I'm sure you can lecture me endlessly about why this is not so.

Cribbing others' prose is wrong. Unfortunately the Internet is still an intellectual Wild West, and people do all kinds of things on the fly that won't live up to your ethical standards as a print writer. You are the schoolmaster insisting on decorum while others are ducking from the hail of bullets as the bad guys ride into town. Point out your grievance, move on. No one cares how important you think you are.