Someone managed to run the contents of this blog through ‘plagiarism.com’ this morning. Since there are well over 500 articles posted on this blog that was quite a task. I got curious about the results of such enquiry and I went there to see what I could find. I found some interesting facts.
The ‘plagiarism’ program appears to be the creation of the same people that created ‘grammarly’ a grammar-checking program created some years ago. I remember it because I tried it. I installed the program in my computer in a futile attempt to polish my English grammar. It was awful. Getting rid of it was not easy. It required to reinstall everything from a backup copy.
So … when I entered the URL for this blog on the field provided, it worked for a few minutes and produced this amazing results!
- 30% of the contents of this blog are ‘plagiarized’ (allegedly).
- 70% of the contents of this blog are ‘original’
Not bad considering that the report of the allegedly plagiarized material points at the content in my guest authors section, which happens to group all the authors published here that are not me. (Please see top menu.)
The report also shows that I have ‘plagiarized’ from the Bible, C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot, Padre Pio, the Nican Mopohua, and several other sources. The samplers provided are all quotes. Plagiarism.com cannot (obviously) tell a quote from plagiarism. As for instance-counting: anything quoted in the blog sidebar counts as one instance (see sidebar on the right of your screen). Since I have published over 500 articles, the quotes of Lewis, Eliot, Meinvielle, and others in the sidebar each qualify as instances of plagiarism! There you have that 30% more or less. Ain’t that a hole in the boat!
That is an amazing program, NOT!
My content has been plagiarized, mostly in Spanish. And I have produced one or two copies of other authors that resurfaced in my old head that continues to regurgitate everything I read. No copy-paste, just faulty brain. I rush to give credit as soon as I realize that has happened. It has happened twice —if I remember well— the last time was about ten years ago. It was embarrassing.
Now I can see how good George Harrison could have been accused of copying My Sweet Lord. The mind of man is a mystery. Billy Joel admits that Uptown Girl contains a few bars of Mozart’s authorship. Those things happen and one can distinguish plagiarism from those tricks our memory plays on us sometimes. Once a friend of mine walked in with a new tune of his own. He played it on the piano. I looked at him and asked him if he was pulling my leg. He answered very seriously: “No” — then I informed him he had rendered a pretty good cover of This Old Heart Of Mine by the Isley brothers. Things like that happen. I remember opening a fresh new vinyl record called Abbey Road. Imagine my surprise when I heard John Lennon singing Chuck Berry’s You Can’t Catch Me slightly changed and renamed Come Together. One of the lines was exactly the same as in Chuck Berry’s composition. A dead giveaway.
A less obvious inspiration exists between two songs who share a number of features: in my mind Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer could have been inspired by a 1960’s Italian song called Il Cielo In Una Stanza by the Genovese author and singer Gino Paoli (a genius if you ask me). Both are beautiful songs, artfully composed. The music of Gino Paoli’s reminds me of my early years when I use to hear lots of Italian pop. I must have heard it so much that its harmonic structure is seared in my brain. The suspicious part is that concertina placed strategically in the most melancholy moment in both songs.
One more thing I must add on this plagiarism thing. When my book Guadalupe: A River Of Light was presented in 2017. The book contained a lot of information that to my knowledge was not included in any other book at that time. That was the result of my research (from 2006 to 2017) in some arcane sources, mainly Mexican publications harking back to the 1800’s or earlier. It did not take long for a certain prestigious doctor in theology to present a webinar with “new amazing facts” about the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was lifted from my research, according to some friends familiar with the webinar. No credit was given not even the courtesy of asking for permission to use the material. No big deal, and if someone learned something new about Our Lady of Guadalupe, I am not concerned at all for plagiarism. The idea is to spread the message but it would have been nice to mention the origin. I do list all the bibliography in the book, at the very least those authors should have been mentioned.
Enough of this. They are all forgiven. And if you find something that seems to you like plagiarism in my blog: please let me know. Also think of this: how many ways exist to tell the story of St. Christopher? Not many, right? One cannot add or substract from the original, the elements are simple: a king, a river, a search for the strongest man in the world, and the final encounter with Christ. Re-telling a story does not constitute plagiarism. Same goes to the interpretation of some classic passages of the Bible. I tend to look at Scripture from a slightly different angle. I learned that from St. Augustine and other Fathers of the Church that almost no one reads these days. Some have lifted my odd insights and used them. Should I sue them? I don’t think so but some of them are not afraid to say where they got the original idea. It is basic decency.
NOTE: forgive the many times I have edited this rambling piece.