Every science writer’s dream

I fear that I will be light on content this month, since I have four grant proposals to get out, as well as a full load of classes. Eeep. In the meantime, please enjoy this example of plagiarism. Apparently a romance novelist copied her dialogue straight from a nonfiction article on black-footed ferrets. And then got caught. Ooops.

A sample:

Shadow Bear responds: “What I have observed of them, myself, is that these tiny animals breed in early spring when the males roam the night in search of females.” As the ferrets bound off into some distant bushes, he continues: “Mothers typically give birth to three kits in early summer and raise their young alone in abandoned prairie dog burrows.”

Shiona: “I read that ferrets stalk and kill prairie dogs during the night. Using their keen sense of smell and whiskers to guide them through pitch-black burrows, ferrets suffocate the sleeping prey, an impressive feat considering the two species are about the same weight.” Shiona shivers, upset by the thought of the cute animals locked in mortal combat.

Sensing her vulnerability, Shadow Bear knows just what to say: “In turn, coyotes, badgers, and owls prey on ferrets, whose life span in the wild is often less than two winters … They have a short, quick life.”


5 Responses to Every science writer’s dream

  1. wetlandstom says:

    Ooops is right! In this new age of the internet and security cameras, Big Brother is always watching.


  2. Martini-Corona says:

    This is amazing. Thank you.

  3. Tom, Big Brother didn’t find the plagiarism – Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books did. I think this makes the ferret-stealing that much better.

    And Martini-Corona – I knew you were a ferret-romance-lover.

  4. Kirsten says:

    WTF? I just don’t understand WHY this was plagiarized. I’m sure it was a great article about ferrets, but in a romance novel? It just sounds so… weird. Stilted. Also, not enough heaving and/or loins.

  5. I’m just as glad she kept the ferrets far, far away from heaving and/or loins. Squeak!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: