The way I see it, PLAGIARISM is a serious thing.
The word has taken center stage for the entire week on world media, because Mrs. Melania Trump, wife of Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump, has been accused of plagiarizing segments of a speech delivered by Mrs. Michelle Obama, about eight years ago.
Even though, some eerie similarities were pointed out, the Trump campaign initially denied any improprieties and maintained that the Trump speech had an original label.
Of course the media kept running with the story. After all, it was a BIG story.
Finally, as week went on, trusted speech writer from the Trump campaign, Meredith McIver, admitted to using some phrases from the previous address by Mrs. Obama.
Referring to Mrs. Trump, she said:
“Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became her final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused to Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama.”
She said she had offered to resign, but Donald Trump had rejected the offer.
I went to MR. GOOGLE and researched the word PLAGIARISM and this is what I discovered:
“The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.”
So right away, I get the distinct impression that when I write and I am making reference to the works and words of another writer, I had better indicate right early, the source of my reference. Then that won’t be PLAGIARISM but when I use someone else’s works and words and pretend that they came from me originally, then is where the trouble starts.
Well I newa!
All over the world, politicians and other individuals who have to give many speeches, with some regularity, sometimes hire speech writers, who are paid large sums of money to make their bosses look and sound good. I heard of a Politician in a particular country, who will not be named (for the purposes of this class), who went to a grand function to deliver the feature address. He had just made a sterling presentation in parliament and was running late for the event.
He grabbed the document with the speech and hustled to the venue, without reading it over. After all, his writer was an outstanding and trusted writer.
He was announced to the podium and with his usual flair, went into the speech and already had his audience literally feeding from his hands. You see, he was a good speaker—quite verbose and very charismatic.
Then disaster struck. He suddenly came across the word PARADIGM. My dear readers, you all know that that word was only invented a few years ago –right? Ah mean, it is only in recent times, I started hearing all the big time speech makers talking about PARADIGM SHIFT.
Well, our hero of the story had never seen the word before, but he was not going to back down now. After a brief pause, he cleared his throat and bravely said, with quite some emphasis: ‘WITH THE NEW PARADIGERME SHIFT!’
Well I newa!
Sufficing to say, following the laughter that ensued, he barely managed to finish the speech and crept sheepishly off the stage, with the laughter of the crowd following him quite loudly.
My recommendation therefore, is that it is the best thing to write your own speeches. After all, they are YOUR thoughts and nobody can express them like you.
Simplicity is also key.
I have a former teacher who likes to say that he uses a big word now and again to let people know that he really went to school but I believe in simplicity. Make sure that everybody understands what you are trying to say.
Try really hard also not to murder the Queen’s English in the process and try to be YOU.
By the way, I took that from somebody but the author is unknown…….
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?