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Flattery In The Form Of Plagiarism

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 10:45 AM

About a year ago whilst browsing online at proofreading ‘stuff’ I came across a fellow proofreader’s website - a website that professed to deliver meticulous proofreading skills. I sat in amazement as I tripped over literary error after error, mentally picking up each one and rolling my eyes at it in disbelief.

Now we all make mistakes and even proofreaders are not infallible but jeez! And it is a truism that none of us can proofread our own words as the brain reads what it expects to see but c’mon!! Final checks before publishing are relatively easy to organise for even the most average human being especially one who emphasises the attribute of being extremely conscientious at all times. One who promises to look after your very own reputation. OMG as they say!

I pondered for many an hour as to whether I should point out his errors. He indeed claimed to be a self-publishing author, would it in fact benefit him as well as me?

So I did it. I emailed him and directed him to the big bloopers he had made, in a polite manner of course. We are trained not to, but what the hell, this could mean business for me.

The next day I visited his website. The errors I had told him about had been edited but the whole site was a mess with more spelling mistakes introduced, paragraphs inconsistently lined up, repetitions, odd letters just hanging there, fonts that didn’t match.

I then flicked through his other pages and to my amazement he had added a ‘What I Will Do’ section, this section was 99% of my own work and a page that was evident on my own site. Only a few words including fees had been changed after obviously completely copying it from me.

How did one feel after seeing this? Damn disgusted let me tell you. Ripped off and upset that someone could just take my own original ideas and use them without a single moral hesitation.

Three days later? Flattered and very smug. Had my writing indeed been so yummy that someone thought it good enough to be used on their own web page?

Too bloody right!

Freelance Proofreading - www.ultimateproof.webs.com

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