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Wherefore art thou, refudiate? Sarah Palin as Shakespeare


On Sunday, Sarah Palin's Twitter feed appealed to "peaceful Muslims" to speak out against a proposed Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan, a few blocks from ground zero. While this might be troublesome to those who don't share her political perspective, what's particularly interesting is her choice of words.

In her first tweet, Palin didn't write "speak out"; she used another term -- "refudiate." A few minutes later, the Tweet was rewritten with "refudiate" -- which is not actually a word -- removed, replaced by "refute." While not correct, "refute" was a step up -- it can actually be found in the dictionary.

Another day, another malapropism, right? Nevermind that the Language Log notes another instance of Palin using the word recently (and science fiction writer John Sladke using it in 1984). The word caught someone's attention, because a few hours later Palin refused to refute "refudiate," she tweeted that she's just following in Shakespeare's footsteps.

"Refudiate," "misunderestimate," "wee-wee'd up." English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!

So is Sarah Palin like Shakespeare? According to the I Write Like tool, Palin's 2008 speech to the Republication National Convention, in which she said, "I was just your average hockey mom," is like Dan Brown. Her keynote speech at the inaugural Tea Party Convention in February 2010 reads like -- wait for it -- Cory Doctorow.

But those are speeches, which of course read a little differently than what appears on the page. Could Sarah Palin's book "Going Rogue" be written like Shakespeare?

Alas, alack: no. The first several hundred words of Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" read like H.P. Lovecraft. And she didn't mention Cthulhu once.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Sarah Palin in May 2010, speaking at the Susan B. Anthony List "Celebration of Life" breakfast. Credit: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (17)

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You must not have much to do or do you just follow Sarah Palin around to see if she ever does anything wrong????? I hope you don't follow me 'cause I'm sure not perfect like you are "I'm sure". hahahaha

Meanwhile 0bama lives like Nero with Broadway at home performances while Rome burns. I can't wait to refudiate the Dems in November.

Yeah and Obama said that there were 57 states, so...

Great catch. My logs captured something similar, Obama stating that there are "fifty-seven" states in the Union. Oh, wait. He's not a progressive female following in the footsteps of the Charter movement, nor a republican. Let's aimlessly criticize her instead.

There are less controversial places to build the mosque. If there is a mosque to be built at ground zero it should be led by an Imam reading from a cleansed Koran. Words of violence would be deleted and forbidden to be uttered. The new Koran and mosque will be a factory that converts potential terrorists into peaceful worshipers.

Fine. She's an idiot, but I love her anyway. Go Palin!!!

I hope she runs for office!!! Palin is as Palin does

I think what she was trying to say was, if or when a rival Muslim faction wants to bomb said Mosque, the collateral damage to the New and Improved World Trade Center might be a little flabugiating.

Does anyone else notice a pattern here? Palin seems to have staffers who have to make sure she gets back into the news cycle every 72 hours. She is told to comment on whatever will give her some time in the news. Remember when she came up with the coin conspiracy theory which was a flop? Well they just keep trying anything crazy to rile up her base and create DIVISION - as long as it keeps her in the news earning money on her "dumbing down of America" tour is the only thing that counts. Rather sad don't you think?

Timothy McVeigh was raised a christian...did we forbid any christian places of worship near the site of the oklahoma city bombing site?...no, we didn't...stop painting all people with the same brush!

Palin makes "W" look like a gentleman and a scholar. This sorry excuse of a Soap Opera star has no legitimate place in politics. Those that support her are sadly ignorant and those that promote her for their own purposes represent the most cynical elements of the American political scene. Like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, someone told her she has "brains". Clearly there is only straw.

Apparently, you geniuses aren't about to win Nobel awards for Literature, either. You evidently didn't examine your dictionaries thoroughly enough to find the word "repudiate" which means "to refuse to have anything to do with.

Hey Belle.

We know repudiate is a word, but she didn't use repudiate. What we're commenting on is Palin not making up a word but screwing up a word.
The woman is a vapid twit. Why would anyone even contemplate electing her anything?

I think she's a great hockey mom, mama grizzly, etc.

That hardly makes her the best choice to lead the nation, fumbling and bumbling around like a bull in a china shop. If she and her fawning followers have their panties in a twist over THIS, they had better steel themselves for the political road ahead if she tries to run. I can't wait to hear her and her supporters whining about "people being mean to her" when she has to debate fellow GOP prez wannabees before the real work even begins. To lose a debate to a lightweight like Romney. eek!

Lets ask Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and all other Muslim countries if we can build new Churches in their countries...right next to their Mosques.. i bet they refudiate as well...

She is right, put that mosque somewhere else..

Refudiate. Ha! Maybe someone needs to introduce her to spell check.

She has already said cruel things about Muslims and this mosque. Someone needs to stand against people like Palin who do nothing but create greater division than there already is between people of different faiths. This is America where we allow everyone freedom to believe or not to believe and it should not matter what house of worship is being created as long as it is being done legally and with respect.


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