I learned a new word: cryptomnesia

How do people expect not to be caught plagarizing in this day in age? If anyone is suspicious about anything in print, I’m pretty sure a copy and paste into the Google search bar will confirm or dispel such suspicion.


I came across this article on the newsweek website that speaks of crytomnesia, the act of unconsciously plagarizing, and had a bit of a think about it.

Firstly, how long has this word existed without my knowledge.

And secondly, I wondered is every writer has experienced this at least once. With the world getting smaller with all this instantaneous communication and the ability to be exposed to so much all over Earth on a daily basis, how often has someone somewhere at some newspaper written the same exact line he or she read from research done from the week before?

The article goes into the psychology of stealing someone else’s work and passing it off as your own in full fledged innocence. The support for the theory is pretty strong. And the article does go to say that we actively counteract  it so it can’t be used as a overall excuse for that aspiring author in the States using that one line he or she read from The Irish Times.

I wonder who would be more likely to commit cryptomnesia. A fiction writer, or a journalist.

Or maybe I just wonder which one would be more likely to use it as an excuse for fraud.

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