Having to write tons, yes TONS, of papers for my master's degree, I was always cognizant of plagiarism. This concept has intrigued me. My advisor said "if you change a word or two in a sentence, you won't be plagiarizing." I think that is a funny thing. Take a look at a journal article and look at the LONG list of references. All we really do is simply copy one another but say it with a different list of vocabulary words.
This made me think...does anyone have completely original thought anymore? Unlikely. Occasionally people say things that bring forth new ways of looking at things (i.e. Gawande, Gladwell), but even that is rare.
I am under the persuasion that for the most part everything that needs to be said has already been said. Great speeches/talks are really just a reworking and re-wording of already established thought.
Agree? or Disagree?