Quote your sources!
So I am both personally and professionally obligated to note that when I reread the post I just wrote this morning, I realized that not only was it influenced by the discussion of schools and class going on at Phantom's and elsewhere (even though the story of A. and me doesn't explicitly focus on class), but that the structure and rhythm of the last paragraph were basically lifted whole from a short story I read in the New Yorker and then later heard on "This American Life."
The story is called "Bullet in the Brain," by Tobias Wolff, from his short-story collection The Night in Question. It can be heard on "This American Life" as part of the episode "Last Words" (Use the Archives sidebar to find it: originally broadcast 10/23/98, Episode #114, Act 6, 13 minutes long)
The story is about the last moments of a writer and critic, and what he does and doesn't remember as he's dying. It's a haunting piece, and beautiful, and it obviously got under my skin even though I wasn't consciously thinking about it as I wrote the post.
Do you ever realize you've unconsciously plagiarized or "borrowed" in a blog post? What do you do when that happens? And where *does* influence shade into swiping?