Welcome Shirley George to the ranks of Sun Coast Media Group plagiarists. Her by-lined article, "Understanding a condition called 'flatfoot'" in this morning's "Feeling Fit" tab, uses Internet material word-for-word without benefit of quotation marks or atttribution.
Old Word Wolf has been alerting Charlotte Sun editors to plagiarists in their pages for more than six years and posting names since the fall of 2007 when a Baptist pastor launched the blog, anchoring the left rail's "Rev." section. Since no one at the newspaper seems to have figured out how to detect petty plagiarism, today's outing is accompanied by a three-step procedure and graphic.
The first step is to fire up the computer and load a Google search page. Type two or three sentences that Shirley George claims to have written into the search field. You can enter the sentences individually or as a group,
The second step is to click on the Google's search button and sit back while Google roams the Internet looking for a match. But don't go out for coffee; in about half a second Google returns more than 200 websites that Shirley George could have copied from.
The next step depends on where you sit. If Shirley George were an honest self-checker, she'd know the next step is inserting a dozen or so "according to...'s " and appropriate quotation marks. If she were a real pro, she would know the next step is paraphrasing -- understanding the material well enough to explain it in her own words and attributing some more. If an editor were checking Shirley George's copy, the editor would see the next step is telling this "correspondent" thanks but no thanks: "You're plagiarizing and we don't use stuff you copy from the Internet."
None of that happened, so the next step is typing Shirley George's name into Old Word Wolf's Blogger widget that lists Sun Coast Media Group plagiarists.
And speaking of Google ....
Reader's Question: What was Cover Editor thinking?
Editor's Answer: "I was thinking I needed a shopworn cliche that's old, stale, irrelevant, not cute, been done a gazillion times before (Google should be able to locate at least a million hits) and features a bad pun that forms a hyphenated nonword that I can display in inverted commas.
Reader: OK, now I understand.