23 November 2010

Sarah Palin’s ‘refudiate’ Oxford’s Top Word 2010

Some have criticised US politician Sarah Palin for her neologisms, like "refudiate", and have accused her of ruining the English language. Others have praised her, and she herself has apparently compared herself with Shakespeare, who also made up new words. .

Who’s laughing now? Sarah Palin’s ‘refudiate’ Oxford’s Top Word 2010 - Business News - Exec Digital:
Sarah Palin's latest self-made source of public mockery has been re-made as merit, being named New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of the Year for 2010 and the latest addition to its official lexicon
I think the English language is in far more danger of being ruined by stupid journalists who misuse "refute" to mean mere denial instead of "prove to be false". If Sarah Palin is guilty of malapropisms, then so are they.

And "refudiate" is a useful portmanteau word to mean "not only have I shown conclusively that it is false, but I have nothing but contempt for those whose moral turpitude led them to suggest that it was true."

Not that Sarah Palin meant anything like that by it; she probably malapropped her own neologism, if such a thing is possible. But it could prove to be a useful word.


Clarissa said...

As much as I dislike Sarah Palin, I have to recognize that the word is pure genius. Of all the languages I know, none lends itself to such fruitful experimentation as English. Even if Palin stumbled at this great word by mistake, why should we repudiate the fun and useful "refudiate"? :-)

jams o donnell said...

Ah perhaps she is trying to emulate Dubya and mangle the English language in her own special way

James Higham said...

She's compared herself to Shakespeare? Love it!

Liz Hinds said...

I often make up words accidentally but mine never get taken up by the dictionary ...


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