The song ends with "I am the intruder."
How often do we allow things--even otherwise important things--to intrude on our message?
|Love is the price of smiles.|
Above we see a typical Facebook-style anonymous photomeme: a platitude pasted onto a schmaltzy picture. For better or worse, the message is direct. The reader can proceed immediately to interpreting and/or appreciating the words.
|"Love is the price of smiles."|
When we put quotation marks around the text we create a distraction. People wonder: "Who said this?" If the author isn't identified the default assumption is that one is quoting oneself. As we squirrels say, it is "vanity without the vanity."
|"Love is the price of smiles." - Earl Gray|
If we introduce the author's name readers may wonder whether "the point is the point" or if it is an effort to highlight the writer. If that happens to be the poster (as here) we might add "shameless self-promotion" into the mix. If one is quoting someone else proper etiquette may seem to demand attribution.
|"Love is the price of smiles." - from "Love is a Weakness" by Earl Gray|
Mentioning the source text merely adds another distracting dimension. Are we to concentrate on the sentiment, the publication or the writer?
Clearly, if we want people to focus on words [and pictures] we should present nothing but words [and pictures]. If these are someone else's does this constitute plagiarism? No, because we aren't signing the meme, suggesting we wrote the aphorism. Is it copyright infringement? Not if the original work is significantly longer than the meme itself (which is almost always the case).
|Earl the Squirrel's Rule #71|
And, of course, it also underscores Rule #71.
“Good artists borrow, great artists steal.”
- attributed to Pablo Picasso
"A wit is always ready with a clever word. A half wit is always
ready with a clever word of someone else's."
- "Leanne" (Freewrights, 22-04-2008)
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Earl Gray, Esquirrel