Sarah Palin has gotten her enemies up in arms by inadvertently inventing a new word, “refudiate.” Mind, this is likely a typo version of “repudiate,” but that has not stopped the Internet frenzy.
The trouble started with a tweet about the plans to build a mosque within the very shadow of Ground Zero in New York, an insensitivity equivalent to building a Shinto Shrine next to the Arizona Memorial in Hawaii or, perhaps, a German war monument at Auschwitz. Palin suggested in the tweet, “Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real.”
Just for good measure, Palin added an hour later, “Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing.”
The whole use of the word “refudiate,” which could be considered a contraction of “refute” and “repudiate,” has caused quite a firestorm. Some of Sarah Palin’s many enemies have concluded that they now have got Palin, got her, got her, got her in a Dan Quayle “potatoe” moment. Others are annoyed that she does not think that Muslims can erect mosques any place they please.
As one who writes for the Internet, one knows that there is one thing that is often embarrassing: the discovery of a typo later to mar what is otherwise a deathless piece of prose. After a momentary bit of embarrassment, Sarah Palin added a third tweet.
“‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”
The nerve of that woman, comparing herself not only to Shakespeare, but to the One himself! (Bush, on the other hand, not too outrageous.) Of course, the Bard could have written a play or even a series of plays about Palin. “The History of Sarah Palin Part 1.” Think about it for just a moment.
Mark Twain, no slouch when it comes to the creative use of language, would have fallen in love. Not so much with Palin, but the behavior of her enemies would have attracted his keen eye for the absurd. What is it about that woman that causes certain people to go into paroxysms at the very mention of her name, or the least news of her doings and sayings?
Sarah Palin may not be the Shakespeare of Twitter, not even the Dorothy Parker (she lacks the nastiness.). But she never fails to get attention. It is an incredible power which, if used wisely, can change the course of history and shape the minds of millions.
A Tweet to Peaceful New Yorkers, Sarah Palin, July 18th, 2010
A Tweet to Peaceful Muslims, Sarah Palin, July 18th, 2010
A Tweet on English as a Living Language, Sarah Palin, July 18th, 2010