My favorite humorist, Dave Barry, who used to work for the Miami Herald, along with hundreds of other people who now used to work for the Miami Herald, used to devote a column from time to time to questions from readers to Mr. Language Person. I would give you examples, but I’m prohibited from doing so. You have to subscribe to the Miami Herald yourself and look it up.
I know this because I subscribe to the Miami Herald myself, and the latest subscriber update I received from them informed me that if I violated any of their policies, they were going to rebuild the Bastille, build an extra-deep dungeon (possible due to state-of-the-art technology unavailable in 1370), place me in a cell and feed me boiled cockroach soup for the rest of my natural but short life.
Okay, here is what they really said: You may not reproduce any part of this content, blah, blah, blah. It was so Draconian I was afraid to even quote anyone, which seemed to Fakename to be a sort of self-defeating policy on their part. What about, “I read it in the Miami Herald” would be bad? Especially since subscribing is free…oh wait. No more.
So far they haven’t billed me, but it’s now $1.99 per month.
Now the good news is, I know for a fact that they do not have an army of researchers combing other newspapers or Internet sites, or for that matter, combing their hair for instances of plagiarism or (politely speaking) unattributed quotes. So I could possibly get away with calling myself Ms. Language Person and not get sued. But Fakename is not into stealing intellectual property. She IS into having the freedom to quote people and to playing on words.
We are in that interim period where newspapers on paper are indeed dying. No more smell of newsprint, holding it in your hands in the morning over a cup of coffee. I get that. But I am kind of an interim person. I’m willing to give up the newspaper, as long as you don’t mess with the library and the paper books. I’ll have to go all Fahrenheit 451 on you if that happens.