Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Library Books

Library books can be so funny. For instance, I recently took out Bully for Brontosaurus by Stephen Jay Gould. This is one of his essay collections from his Natural History magazine column.

Anyway, here is why the fact that it is a library book is funny. There are pencil scrawls in it… what kind of person does this? I first noticed them in Essay 5, “Bully for Brontosaurus” itself. It is riddled with underlined words, then notes in the margins. For instance there is this phrase “We shall detour around the coils of Boa constrictor…” and in the margins it says “fuss”. And then later on I find “… a lamentable tendency abetted by…” and the note is “inspiring”. What kind of person made these notes.

Well, it became clear when I got to the 10th essay, “The Case of the Creeping Fox Terrier Clone” and in the blank space between the title and the start of the essay I found “Do not copy other’s work”. This book was previously checked out by a now reformed plagiarist!

posted by neil at 9:12 am
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