Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 6, 1954

Journalistic "Kidnapers"

Willis G. Jernigan, Commerce, Texas

Plagiarism in many of our gospel papers has been on the ascendant in recent years. Brethren who write should be very careful, when possible, to give borrowed articles proper credit. A few years ago Drummond's, "Greatest Thing In the World" appeared on the front page of one of "our leading gospel papers" under the name of a well-known plagiarist of the brotherhood. Sometimes well known expression may creep into our writings, but to plagiarize articles or even paragraphs without quotation marks is a different matter. The following is interesting in this connection:

"A plagiarist is one who pirates the work of another, usually an author or composer, and passes the plagiarized material off as his own. Among writers especially, plagiarist is an exceedingly ugly word.

"The term, however, has a humorous origin. Its Latin form is plagiarius, a word meaning 'a kidnapper; a man stealer.' Cicero jestingly used plagiarius in describing a certain unscrupulous writer who regularly practiced literary theft. The term struck the popular fancy to such an extent that Cicero's meaning soon superseded and made obsolete the literal meaning of `kidnapper'."

This thought was not "kidnapped" we give credit to Frank Colby of the Wichita Falls Daily Times, Wichita Falls, Texas.