athelind: (Default)
J.K. Rowling is getting sued by the clueless again. Yes, yet another plagiarism accusation. Making Light goes into great detail about the spuriousness of the claim, and the wretched quality of the claimant's allegedly-plagiarized work.

You don't really need to read all that. You'll find the meat of the whole issue before you even have to scroll down the page, when Ms. Hayden points out three things about such lawsuits. Her second point addresses something that comes up a lot in pop culture conversations:

“Non-writers think it’s the ideas, rather than the execution, that make a book. They’ve got that backward.”



I submit this as a Law of the Internet, on a par with Godwin's and Poe's: "Hayden's Second Law".

As I said, this comes up a lot. "Plagiarism", per se, is seldom invoked, but milder euphemisms abound: "derivative" is a popular epithet, and to many, "originality" seems the highest criterion for literary merit.

The career of the Gentleman from Avon indicates otherwise.

I should note that I'm guilty of this, myself; I've repeatedly tabled my own flailing attempts at writing because my characters, settings, or plot seem "derivative".


Addendum: just a few hours before I made this post, [livejournal.com profile] foofers provided a technological example of "it's not the ideas, it's the execution" -- in this instance, whether the ideas got executed at all.
athelind: (Default)
It's a law of the internet: any mention of a holiday always gets at least one reply asserting that the respondent pays no attention to that holiday, and why.

The response demonstrates that the respondent, in that alleged disregard, pays more attention to the holiday than do those who might observe it casually, and feel no need to comment.

That said, this is the first day of Lent -- a ritual I observe only in the most secular way -- and thus, I bid you all the appropriate tidings for Ash Wednesday.


athelind: (Default)
Every now and then, I'll see a topic or a line of thought or, hell, a spelling or grammatical error that crops up repeatedly over the span of a few days -- often enough that I feel the need to make a LiveJournal comment about it.

I usually include a note that I've been seeing this [whatever] in a number of different places, and that my comments aren't aimed at anyone in particular.

Invariably, that note is ignored, and at least one person will respond most heatedly as if I were in fact addressing them specifically. It's not just a matter of getting defensive about their position; sometimes, they will come right out and say "you didn't need to take this public".

You know who you are. Don't try to deny it. Yes, I'm talking to you. You're the only one who has ever done this.

You may have noticed that I run a few "sub-columns" in this journal, usually identified by headers. The Hoard Potato talks about mass media, Understating Athelind's Argot discusses peculiar turns of phrase that I use, Film at 11 talks about the news of the day, and so on.

From here on, when I make a broad response to something that more than one person has brought up that annoys me, or that I feel needs response, I am going to use this header: You're So Vain.

Just for you.

athelind: (Default)
I've seen this spelling error twice in the last few days, so I just thought I'd give you a quick visual guide:



This is a faun.






This is a fawn.




Thank you for your time and attention.

March 2010

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