As I’ve quietly tried to ignore the GOP convention, a major controversy had developed based on the claim that Melania Trump had plagiarized her speech from Michelle Obama.
Mashable ran Trump’s speech through Turnitin and found that the speech was as much as 47% non-unique. Some clever person did a little hunt for the first result and found that the original genius writer was no one other than yours truly.
Here’s my original phrasing:
Your word is your bond. You do what you say you are going to do and it matters to you lots when projects do not come through they way they should.
Here’s Michelle Obama’s wording:
You work hard for what you want in life. Your word is your bond and you do what you say.
And Melania’s wording:
You work hard for what you want in life. Your word is your bond and you do what you say you are going to do.
Almost exact wording makes you think there is a very serious problem, hunh? As much of an honor as it is to be plagiarized by a current and potentially future first lady, I think it’s fair to say that this is a pretty common definition for integrity which is political jargon for “please vote for me.” The Wall Street Journal made this point which is how I eventually found out about all this as did this clever Ars Technica user.
The similarities between the two speeches as a whole do seem a little like laziness to me on the part of Melania’s speech writer. Of course, I do not approve of plagiarism and in academic papers I strongly advise against even blinking in that direction. On the other hand, I would not use Turnitin on a wedding speech and take the results seriously either.
At least I had an excuse to write a blog post as I hadn’t in over a year! I hope all the readers of periodic nothingness are having a great summer!