I often jot down little thoughts onto scraps of paper, and then find them later and type them out. Usually I have an idea of where their placement belongs in a story I'm writing.
Quite a bit though, I run into the problem of finding these scraps of paper years later. Once I found one that read simply,
And I'll say, "Don't ask me. I don't know any highways."
I wanted to use it somewhere, but I was paranoid that it wasn't my own actual creation--thinking perhaps it was a song lyric that I had scribbled down, but not bothered to quote. I Googled it like mad and never did find it used previously--so I think it actually does "belong to me". I think it was actually something I had said when I first began driving--because people would tell me, "Oh, you just take 91 South..." and I would tell them, "I don't know any highways."
Today, I found this one:
There will always be a reason to cry, as long as tears exist. This is part of the human condition.
Same problem. No quotations, no citation, no nothing. Did I write this? Google again is not being very helpful. Is it safe to use in my own work?
I never want to plagiarize. But do courtrooms make allowances for accidental plagiarizing?
Does this kind of thing happen to anyone else?