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sharkskin girl

Dear Inspired,

I think she would be honored. Perhaps the following brief checklist on "When to Attack Someone for Plagiarizing My Work" will be helpful:

1) If someone has written about something you have already written about (regardless of whomever wrote it first)

2) Referring to 1, if what that someone has written is absolutely antithetical to, and in fact has nothing to do with, what you have written

3) Referring to 1 and 2, if that someone, in any article they've ever written, regardless of whether it concerns topics you've written about, refers to a theorist that you, in, again, any context, have also referred to (*even better if the theorist is a well-known and -read one, such as Foucault, Kant, etc.)

4) If you have a website on which to post your accusations (*this point is not dependent on points 1, 2, or 3).

Plagiaristically yours,

[ed. note: this rather flippant comment is not to lessen the significance of plagiarism or in fact to endorse it in any way. it is simply to make the commenter, i.e. sharkskin, feel witty.]


Do you think she'd notice if I used her screeds as a starting point for the day I decide to accuse someone of plagiarism?

sharkskin girl

thanks for your post and clever sleuthing. i agree entirely re the impact on the accused scholar. the decision re how to handle the grad student's libelous posting is up to the scholar, though i somewhat suspect she will just let this fade away rather than antagonize a possibly unstable person. and who knows, perhaps this will result in a few more people reading the journal!


After reading this woman's incoherent and mildly psychotic accusations, I think the one "new" thing about this situation is the online b.s. that someone will pull to get attention. Her arguments about where the so-called "plagiarism" occurs are laughable. Based on the excerpts of her own work that she provides, I can't imagine who can stand to read through one of her essays in its entirety, let alone plagiarize it.

The sad thing is that the other scholar's reputation is being impacted online. This ruckus won't hurt the TDR people involved, but it's the first hit that comes up on Google for the female academic. I advise TDR to locate the hosting service for that woman's website and ask them to pull the plug. Contacting her university about her libelous statements (if indeed she is affiliated with one) may not be a bad idea.

But surely these responses are the ones she seeks? Maybe ignoring her is better: anyone who reads her accusations will be able to see she is a nut.

sharkskin girl

thanks so much for this thoughtful comment. and thanks for assuring that my online rep is untarnished! it is a difficult position for all involved, i think, and an important lesson. ironically enough i came across jonathan lethem's "the ecstasy of influence: a plagiarism" from feb 07 harper's shortly after all of this... which doesn't exactly lessen the vitriol of the grad student's attack, but does speak to the larger issue of the overlap of ideas and its significance to creativity.

and my birthday was completely unburdened and fabulously relaxing!



Sorry to hear about this accusation, Sharkskin. I tried to google your name and "dumb American," but found no results. The grad student's attack seems to have gone unnoticed in terms of online rankings.

It's true: no good deed goes unpunished. Sometimes you think you are helping someone out, but it turns out they have problems which might best be described as "psychological." In these cases, it is best to protect yourself and redirect the inquiry to higher authorities. (Of course you can rarely tell who's going to turn into an abusive creep until its too late).

In any case, happpy birthday!! Don;t let this incident gt you down.

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