The rules for quoting and attributing can seem arbitrary at times, with little connection to the respect for intellectual property that originally motivated them. You could think of them just as a kind of literary etiquette. But etiquette is just what comes of reducing moral principles to the explicit codes of conduct that govern our civil life. [Rand] Paul may not have been guilty of dishonesty, just cavalier disrespect for the rules. You don’t put on the feathers of another, not even the drab ones that you find lying around on the ground.
— Fresh Air’s Linguist Geoff Nunberg takes a critical look at plagiarism