Take for example the famous line students have to master on their keyboards in their Typing 101 subject:
For a plagiarist, all he has to do is consult a thesaurus, replace some words with its synonym and he can claim it as his own. The result may be similar to this:
Others may see it differently. An attorney may express it in another way, depending on whose side he represents, as in:
“On November 21st, 2008, between 1 and 2 o’clock PM, at the vicinity of the river bank, the quick brown fox, henceforth be known as the defendant, with full intent, knowingly, willfully, maliciously and in a treacherous manner perpetrated the act of jumping over the back of the lazy dog, henceforth be identified as the plaintiff, thus the defendant performed the said act without proper approval, unknowing to and unwilling on the part of the plaintiff...”
To an engineer, he may convey it in a more abstract and technical manner:
R = total length of jump
g = acceleration of gravity constant
Vi = initial vertical velocity of fox
Vh = horizontal velocity of fox
h1 = dog’s height at laying position.
h2 = height fox should achieve with respect to dog
“Assuming uniform gravity, in order for the fox to achieve a successful jump (see. Fig. 1), its horizontal velocity (Vh) and initial vertical velocity (Vi) are factors that should always be taken into consideration.”
For a novelist with a tendency to use flowery words and tons of adjectives, it may appear like this:
“Near a brook, like a brown haze, came the fox, swift as the wind and with great agility leaps into the air, over and beyond the sluggish, unsuspecting hound. “
How it is written, may it be eloquently, technically or in a confusing legalistic manner, the final impression will be on the reader. The outcome, whether it’s the same or remotely far from the author’s idea, will depend on the person’s understanding and interpretation of what he reads. Come to think of it, it may even be dangerous, especially if the reader possesses influence.
Like a single “holy” book that sprouted several religions, its interpretation is the key. Some understand it literally and practice its content to the letter, as what fundamentalist do. Others interpret it in a progressive way and revolutionize its principle along with time. Still a much older sect, predecessor of todays protestants, twist, mangle and revise the book’s tenet according to its own interest.
But what worries me, and I find alarming, is when unscrupulous individuals interpret the laws of the land differently from what our forefathers intended it to be. Be wary of persons who seek loop-holes in our laws where he could insert his personal interest. Be wary still of persons in authority who’ll try to change our laws in order to stay in power. Suspect anything they do no matter how noble or nationalistic their reasons are. They are so crooked and clever that they will even hide behind legalistic mumbo-jumbo to achieve their purpose. To them it’s nothing but a matter of semantics.