Monday, November 12, 2012

Defending Plagiarism

And now for something completely different: The New Yorker ran a contest asking its readers to suggest what a dog would tweet.  (If, of course, dogs COULD tweet.)

The winner they picked submitted an answer that was uncomfortably close to the caption of an old Gary Larson cartoon.  (Of course, ALL Gary Larson cartoons are old - he retired his strip "The Far Side" in 1995.)

Defending its decision, The New Yorker declined to disqualify its winner because of the number of times the word in question was repeated.

Sorry, it's still plagiarism.  Repeating the word doesn't make it different, unless it's in a foreign language incomprehensible to the reader, and the joke is how often the word is repeated.

Somehow, this reminds me of that episode of "Seinfeld" in which Elaine gets a cartoon accepted by The New Yorker, only to discover that she stole the caption from a "Ziggy" cartoon.

And, if you want a much more clever answer to the "What would dogs tweet?" question, go see Philadelphia stand-up comic John Kensil perform.

OK?  OK?  OK?  OK?  OK?

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