Sarah Palin and Shakespeare: What do they have in common? Refudiate.(Read article summary)
Sarah Palin wrote in a Twitter message Sunday that Muslims should 'refudiate' a planned mosque near the World Trade Center site. Can Sarah Palin invent a word? William Shakespeare did, Palin tweeted in her own defense.
Erik S. Lesser/AP/File
â€śRefudiateâ€ť is not a real word. Not yet, at least â€“ itâ€™s not in any of the dictionaries we have in Vote Blog HQâ€™s oak-paneled library. But should it be? Thatâ€™s another question, which Sarah Palin herself, who apparently coined â€śrefudiate," has brought up. Never "misunderestimate" the beauty and adaptability of the English language.
A slip of the finger, most likely. "Repudiateâ€ť would have worked just fine in that sentence. And if correct spelling were a requirement for Twitter posts than that whole vast enterprise would fall silent, except for the rare twittering grammarian.
But then Palin pulled her misspelled post and replaced it with one calling on Muslims to â€śrefute the Ground Zero mosque plan." This confused the issue â€“ implying, as it did, that the base verb â€śrefuteâ€ť might have been what she had in mind all along.
More controversy about spelling ensued. Finally, to end the whole thing, Palin tweeted that people should get just get over this.
â€śEnglish is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Get over it!â€ť tweeted the former GOP VP candidate.
First of all, we would like to point out that we were the first news outlet in the world to use the word â€śShakespeareâ€ť in the context of Sarah Palin. Thank you, thank you. Second, Palin is completely right.
About English, that is. Throughout its history it has been a living, breathing, changing entity, enriched by words from other languages and slang phrases. It is not formal and unchanging, like, say French. English is like America â€“ dynamic.
So why not â€śrefudiateâ€ť? Was not Palinâ€™s meaning clear? We bet everybody who read that sentence knew what she meant. And isnâ€™t that the point?
We must note, however, that the groups behind the project in question â€“ a proposed 13-story building a few blocks from Ground Zero that will house a mosque, gym, community center for a number of groups, among other things â€“ are not going to be â€śrefudiatingâ€ť their plans.
A spokeswoman for the project, Daisy Kahn, issued a written statement Sunday that said, in part, â€śWe welcome the opportunity to discuss with Ms. Palin how Muslim Americans have an added responsibility to create a counter-momentum against extremism by building institutions like this center."
Meanwhile, folks on Twitter were having a great time Monday rewriting the Bard of Avonâ€™s most famous phrases into more, um, Alaskan-sounding language. Among our favorites: â€śGet thee to a gunnery," and, â€śWe few, we happy few, we band of Mama Grizzlies."