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Plans to tear down old Cole County jail and sheriff's house move forward April 16, 2014

Your Opinion: Plagiarism and degrees of originality

Dear Editor:

The subject of plagiarism in this column is worth looking at.

None of us invented all of the ideas that we use. Some people might say that Newton and Galileo came as close to originality as is possible.

There are degrees of what we little folk like to call originality. Creating a turn of phrase or coming up with a bright idea feels good. It’s like hitting a double in sandlot baseball. It feels good.

In this column I sometimes read the thoughts of “conservative” radio talk show hosts presented as the thought product of the contributor. Sometimes I suspect that the contributor has no idea that he’s not thinking for himself, but instead believes that he simply agrees with his source.

These fans of right-wing radio are known, derisively, as “ditto heads”.

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