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Temple and the P-Word

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Several folks have commented on John Temple’s apparent reluctance to use the word “plagiarism” when discussing the Rocky Mountain News editorial that lifted passages from a blog and the Washington Post. Westword‘s Michael Roberts asked the paper’s editor and publisher about his creative phrasing and got what seems like a perfectly understandable response.

But why did Temple describe the offense as “inappropriately duplicated wording” instead of plagiarism? Temple discloses that a “bad experience” in a previous arbitration case he declines to specify partly inspired his avoidance of the P-word. (Most likely, he’s referring to a ’90s faceoff with ex-music writer Justin Mitchell.) Even so, he doubts that any reader would be confused about whether Beal had done wrong.

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