Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Morning After Pill - Week 5

What does a writer do when he or she has a combination of writer's block and and over committed schedule? The solution is elementary and time-tested.


The trick to good plagiarism, of course, is to not get caught. One old-school trick is to take a bunch of articles written about a hot topic and do a cut & paste job. That way your "own" article looks like just another mundane original bouncing around the echo chamber.

21st Century tools, however, make plagiarism even more fun and easy. Consider a neat little tool called Wordle. You copy a bunch of text, paste it in the Wordle applet, and you get a graphic display of the words in the article like so:

This came from a few fairly pedestrian articles, but I'll bet you can tell at a glance what they were about. You see, the magic of Wordle is that it increases the size of more prominent words,while shrinking words that appear less frequently. It's kind of like what happens to a fantasy team that drafted Austin Collie vs. one that drafted Reggie Wayne. So if you guessed that this Wordle came from a selection of stories about Aaron Rodgers alleged inappropriate sex-ting messages, you guessed right. Oh, wait. I think Wordle is scrambling my brain a bit. Nevermind.

Oh, here's the one I'm thinking of:

I can now steal all of the key words being bandied about regarding the Favre saga, and then write my own article on the topic du jour with little or no effort. That also gives me more time to smell the roses. This Wordle gives the artistic impression of a tree of bad vibes, continuing to branch off. Yep, sounds like the Favre soap opera to me.

Speaking of Favre, here is how wordle interpreted articles about his performance last night against the Jets (frantic TD passes notwithstanding):

Looks like Favre pinching out a big turd on the field. Appropo.

In fact, I think Wordle can be a digital prophet sometimes. Check out this collection of recent articles about Buffalo Bills transactions:

Where's Waldo Lynch? If you look real close in the middle, you can find a tiny Marshawn. Pretty indicative of his career and impact on the league lately, if you ask me.

This is from a collection of articles about the possibility of a Colt McCoy start against the Steelers in week 6.

Do you see the not-very-aerodynamic-looking airplane, Mikey Tomlin? Good. Wanna crash it? Heh, heh.

Of course I can't emphasize enough the need to plagiarize multiple sources. Sticking with one article can be a dead giveaway. Consider Ron Jaworski's article on the Randy Moss Trade:

Can't you just see the spit flying from Jaws's jaws as he over-emphasizes words and phrases like, "by FAR," "BLOCKS," and, "OFFENSIVE PLAY"? Plagiarizing from this Wordle would be a dead giveaway. It's the same with this wordle of articles written by or about Chris Collinsworth:

Well, it looks like all those wordless helped my make my wordcount. So I don't have to do any actual writing this week. Until next time, happy losing, fantasy junkies!

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