Monday, 14 November 2005

Properly attributed quote

Tom Lehrer’s Russian mathematician explaining how to reach the top in that field:
Plagiarise!
Let no-one else’s work evade your eyes
Remember why the good Lord made your eyes
So don’t shade your eyes
But plagiarise, plagiarise, plagiarise!
But be sure always to call it, please, research.

I wrote the other day about my sins as a blogger including my shameless but harmless plagiarism, and cited J K Galbraith as someone from whose writings I like to lift bits. Coincidentally, a day or two later I came across something he wrote which I had missed so I am happy to slip it in here and as a nice change give due credit.
He was writing about the Reaganite idea that if you make the rich richer then the poor will also benefit.
Trickle-down theory: the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows."
—John Kenneth Galbraith

16 comments:

Minerva said...

But just remember what the aforementioned Russian mathematician had as a reaction from both Izvestiya and Pravda - 'It stinks'.

Minerva

Tony said...

Well, I'm not responsible:
One man deserves the credit
One man deserves the blame...

Minerva said...

" And Nikolai Ivanovich Petrovsky is his name", she ended with a smug flourish..

Minerva

Tony said...

No dear, Petrovsky wouldn't scan. Lobachevsky
Why is it that even quite intelligent women never get things quite right?

Minerva said...

Ah...but we do know not to use the word 'quite' twice in the same sentence..

What about 'reasonably' or 'vaguely'?



Minerva...

Tony said...

Quite right to draw my attention to a momentary carelessness in repeating a word. Actually I had meant to say fairly intelligent but forgot. This is of course no excuse and I appreciate your courteous correction.
But telling me of other words I might have used is totally unacceptable, suggesting as it does that my vocabulary is not up to the task of finding alternatives; this is a grotesque and gratuitous impertinence which I strongly resent.

Minerva said...

"I am not sure that word means what you think it means."

The Princess Bride.


Minerva

Tony said...

Which word? What are you on about? If I have to read The Princess Bride to find out then forget it; I loathe the Rings/Potter/Narnia kind of twaddle.
Anyway, whatever word you're talking about:
`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

Minerva said...

Cue my favourite nursery rhyme parody,

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
Humpty Dumpty didn't get bumped,
Humpty Dumpty bungee jumped...

Minerva

Minerva said...

Oh and is the word 'quote' really acceptable as a noun? I was always taught that 'quote' was only to used as a verb and that the its use as a noun was casual...

I see a dictionary agrees with me...

Usage Note: People have been using the noun quote as a truncation of quotation for over 100 years, and its use in less formal contexts is widespread today. Language critics have objected to this usage, however, as unduly journalistic or breezy. As such, it is best avoided in more formal situations. The Usage Panel, at least, shows more tolerance for the word as the informality of the situation increases. Thus, only 38 percent of Panelists accept the example He began the chapter with a quote from the Bible, but the percentage rises to 53 when the source of the quotation is less serious: He lightened up his talk by throwing in quotes from Marx Brothers movies

Source: dictionary.com

Minerva

Tony said...

Minerva:
1. Please stop putting line spaces in comments; it makes them look so untidy. Pretty please.
2. Nursery rhymes. My favourite is the one about what really happened to Little Miss Muffet, but it's not suitable for publication here.
3. When someone says "I was always taught that.." you know that (a) they weren't and (b) what follows is utter rubbish. The use of quote for quotation is perfectly OK in formal or demotic mode: I know of no authority which supports your contention.
And another thing: why cite dictionary.com? It's an American site, for God's sake, and therefore of no interest to us.

Tony said...

Min:
I am greatly disappointed by your total lack of prurient curiosity. You are not the woman I took you for.

Minerva said...

*sigh*
So you like predictable women do you? Alright then Tony, what IS the rhyme about Little Miss Muffet?
Oh, and about the supremely patronising quotation remark on my blog, when are YOU going to learn?

Tony said...

Min: You're so lovely when you're angry!
I shan't tell you the rhyme, so there.

Minerva said...

I cannot tell you how much fun you add to my life Tony - I am SO glad I met you, and even happier that Ann married you...
(No gap here, no no, that wouldn't be allowed on this blog and I have remembered)
Minerva

Tony said...

So glad you are well now, Minerva, and your friends still commenting on your blog even if it is no longer live.
I miss exchanges like this.
And I never did tell you the rhyme about Little Miss Muffet.