My dad wrote several papers and a couple of books. When I would question his sources, he would answer with, “If you quote one person without credit, it’s plagiarism, if you quote a lot of them, it’s research.”
My dad had a way of convincing himself that research counted as original thought.
He happily took credit for such sayings as “It’s a gift, that’s why they call it the present.” and, “My presence is your present.” When in reality, his more original sayings were — “It ain’t bragging if it’s true.” And “Stand over there and take my picture.”
What does all this have to do with anything? The Hudson ego lingers, and apples don’t fall far from the tree. The difference is I know original thought is rare.
I often wonder who said it first, me or you? Did I hear that before? Did I read it at one time? Maybe, I gleaned a part and it sparked something from my own experience, and I put the twist on a particular saying?
If you say something often enough, it tends to get tagged to you. Alice always said, “she wouldn’t say shit, if she had a mouthful.” I know she was not the first to say this, but to me – she gets all the credit.
Sam told me once, that a perfect example of improvising is talking. We may have an idea of what we’d like to say, but for the most part, we start talking and what comes out is what comes out.
One of my greatest joys in life, is my ability to make Ken laugh.
I don’t think about how, when, or what I’ll say to get him going, but I do notice the moment it happens. Nine times out of 10, it’s come out of the blue. I improvised on a situation or thought.
I do try my best to give credit appropriately. I also know that in general, I must now give a big shout out to every class I took, every teacher and student I’ve had, every book I’ve read, and every conversation I’ve shared.
See, I’ve also done a lot of research!