Yesterday, Sarah Palin offered her opinion on a proposal to build a mosque in the vicinity of the September 11th site. Her words:
There are a few ways to look at Sarah Palin’s use of “refudiate.” It’s clear that refute and repudiate are lurking in the background somewhere. One view is that it’s a non-word and sets a bad example for students of the English language. Palin’s response:
“‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”
“Misunderestimate” is a famous coinage by former President George W. Bush. “Wee-wee’d up” is a lexical creation by President Barack Obama. (Check out our previous take on a flub of Obama’s.)
Say what you will about her invocation of Shakespeare, but Palin raises a classic debate among linguists and lexicographers (people who create dictionaries). Dictionaries have always faced the dilemma whether to be prescriptive or descriptive. Is it the job of a dictionary to direct how words should be used, spelled, or pronounced, or should a dictionary simply document the current usage of the language?
When Palin, Bush and Obama coined their respective terms, they added neologisms (new words) to the messy, changing phenomenon we agree to call English. Whether a word transforms from a novelty into a standard part of our lexicon is a mysterious joy beyond the power of any politician, editor or individual to predict.
Commenter ”Pete Buick” deserves mention for pointing out a wonderful related term: malapropism, “an act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, esp. by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.” It’s up to you if you consider “refudiate” a malapropism or a simple corrigendum.
Weigh in: Do you think refudiate will end up in the dictionary? What do you make of Palin’s defense?
“refudiate” should not be added to our dictionaries, but it may likely be added to the far right-wing lexicon now that English language purists are making such a stink about it.
I’m much more concerned about Obama’s incorrect pronunciation of the word “corpsman” and Biden’s assertion that FDR used to give speeches on television in the 1930s.
If Sarah Palin said “Refudiate” and it isn’t in the dictionary, then you need to add it. it is obviously an accidental omission, and she brings to light a serious error in both the website and the published books.
If an intellectual coined “refudiate”, Sarah Palin – no way
I’ll accept it in the dictionary as long as we “refudiate” Sarah Palin…
NO! Refudiate should NOT be added to anyone’s dictionaries!!
Scarah always has to defend rather than just say, “Oops!” like normal people would do. EVERYONE misspeaks from time to time, but every time she does, she has a defense – so silly and immature! Someone, anyone, please just make her go away!!
Kidding, right? “Refudiate” ends up in a dictionary because Palin said it once? Must she foul everything?!
We have separate dictionaries for yoopers and slang, why not one for politicians?
I agree with Derrick, though. the “gotya” game seems to only be played by the Dems on the R’s.
can someone link to me the blog post on Dictionary.com that excoriates a prominent Democrat for misspeaking?
Come on, give Sarah a break. Does every little mistake she may make have to be exploited? Maybe she meant repudiate and it was just a typo. Why doesn’t someone just ask her and not let the entire world think she is ignorant. She actually isn’t ignorant, but that is what people would rather think than give her a break.
Goofing up a word is NOT the same as lexicalizing a new one.
When a child learning to speak, messes up words, we do not claim the child is like Shakespeare and creating new ones.
By her comments, one would assume Ms Palin would embrace Ebonics and Spanglish, but I somehow think this is not the case.
That response is classic – she seems to embrace the lowest common denominator she can find. So far, I’m just grateful she hasn’t winked at any heads of state in any summit meetings.
Do you give Joe Biden a hard time when he mis-speaks too, or is this just another liberal attack on Sarah Palin? I’m curious to hear what you have to say when Biden humiliated the manager of that ice cream shop when he asked, “Why don’t you say something nice instead of being a smartass all the time?” Biden implies that he knows the manager well and that the manager is a smartass all of the time. Where’s your article on that?
What about FUNNER? Why is that not a word!?? ‘Bling’ can be in the dictionary, but funner can’t? I don’t get it. Will someone please explain
People of notoriety especially politicians who are guilty of malapropisms always have some lame-ass excuse to assuage the effect of their ignorance concerning vocabulary. Ironically this is more so when they are in a position of preponderance. They knowingly figure since they have been riding a gravy train for years they are bulletproof therefore the point is moot. I would hope that any words coined by slow-witted politicians are never seen in a real dictionary.
I’s woulda lika alla dese wurds tah gets poot intah dah dicshunary.
I think the debate centers around the “intentionality” (I realize the irony) in the usage of a “new word”. Shakespeare was pretty clear in his intent with new lexicon. Palin? Probably not so much.
Just because one pundit “creates” a word does not mean it should be given a spot in any English dictionary. “Refudiate” was not an attempt to add variety to our living language, but a clear mistake. Are we going to add every word that children create in middle school to the dictionary? Unless the word flourishes in the culture, I do not think it has a place in the dictionary. Please do not give talking heads more leeway than they deserve. Not to mention this was a tweet, correct? It is slightly insulting that she could not use the extra 3 seconds it requires to look up the actual word she was searching for.
While English is a “living language,” language itself is meant to clarify, not obfuscate. By combining parts of two words, Palin does what she does so well — keeps us guessing at what she means.
I think that it is time that the media give Sarah Palin a break! Why is every breath she takes magnified and researched for mistakes? She is human. We ALL make mistakes! How about concentrating on those who constantly walk around with a crack down the middle of their faces? Look at the left wing extremists in the Democratic Party. You’ll find plenty of jackasses there.
Sarah Palin’s use of a non-existent word is another blatant reminder of her enormous ignorance on many fronts, language is obviously not exempt.
Adding it to the dictionary does not show any sort of linguistic advancement, she simply made a mistake, again.
Wow! Way to be vicariously prideful. So she flubbed a word. There are more important issues in politics. Although, I’m willing to accept these thoughts from anyone who can prove without a shadow of a doubt that they have never misspoken. Oh wait, no one fits that profile.
Really, Sarah!? Really? I may agree with the fact that English evolves, as do most languages. I hardly agree with the fact that this should be added to the dictionary, regardless of one’s political affiliation. With the technological access that our society has, I find it impossible that people would accept such a stupid mistake. I also find Ms. Palin’s grammatical faux pas to be unconscionable. If she has a phone she can tweet from, she has a phone that can get the dictionary.com app and look up a freaking word.
No way in HELL she knew that about Shakespeare. Someone fed her that response.
Obama is going to get all “wee-weed up” about this as he travels throughout the “57 states” of this great nation telling the story of how the Selma, Alabama civil rights march resulted in his parents “getting together and Barack Obama Jr. was born.”
Obama was born in 1961. The Selma march took place in 1965.
And we’re supposed to be worred about Palin? Oh, please.
[...] anyway, here's dictionary.com with an interesting take on the subject of "refudiate". Sarah Palin says “refudiate,” and creates a word controversy. What’s the big probl… __________________ Morals are for chumps. [...]
“Does every little mistake she may make have to be exploited? Maybe she meant repudiate and it was just a typo.”
I guess if she followed this up with the word coinage deal, implying she knew whole-heartedly what she was saying, then you can’t say it was a typo.
As for introducing “refudiate” into common use, I have little problem with that, except I cannot quite figure out its exact meaning and don’t understand how it would be used correctly; Ms. Palin’s own context, “Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate” doesn’t answer this for me.
Dictionary.com should do its credibility, and its readers, a favor and explore the real word in question here: malapropism.
What is a malapropism?
What are some interesting examples in history?
Who are some famous malapropists (is that even a word)?
The first one who comes to my mind is Archie Bunker.
Now THAT’S appropriate company for Sarah Palin!!!
I find it amusing that someone thought a misspeak was important enough to write a whole blog post about.
Way left, define intellectual. I think that you would fall short of your own definition, and Mrs. Palin would fit it.
Where are all the women’s groups and feminists? aren’t they supposed to protect women from political attacks from simple mispronunciations? why aren’t they protesting in the streets in defense of a prominent woman in politics?
… they’d do it for Hillary. and what has she done? married an adulterer?
And puh-lease, Palin isn’t the only person to have ever made this linguistic mistake. Somebody should hand that quitter a copy of Oxford (so she can see ALL the words) and put some pressure on her and I guarantee she’ll back off it.
I refudiate her response! Yes language is dynamic. But one instance of the use of the word does not mean it is now part of our lexicon. I would have more respect for the word if it was a creative selection by Palin, but find it more likley that she just got it wrong.
Thank you, Jackson Roberts for saying what i wanted to say and not making me type it out.
I’ll bet that Sarah can spell “potato” – which is more than I can say for Al Gore! LOL!
Well, if Sarah gets a new word it won’t be that one.
Well, it’s good to see that the hard left continues to be absolutely, positively terrified of Palin.
Keep up the good work Obama Kool-Aid Kids.
Comon you people, who like to still have “sand-box” “tiffs”.(in dictionary) Of course, the psuedo-intellectuals (ahem! a legitmate term)love to obsess on most any thing to prove that they are a tad above mere mediocrity (ahem! also in the dictionary). Me says that we should allow Sarah’s use of a perfect legit term in any dictionary! Don’t sweat these delicate “politicalcorrectees”! How do they think dictionaries were invented anyway?!
wow, re-reading some of these posts… the women out there REALLY seem to dislike Mrs. Palin! louise basically called her a slut. what? because she misspoke a word, she will suddenly now start to “wink at heads of state”?
you need to re-evaluate your life and find out where all this hatred is coming from.
and it seems that a lot of you are simply pseudointellectual esotericists.
Give me a break, Sarah Palin and Shakespeare in the same sentence.
I think the most important part is that we focus on criticizing former politicians’ incorrect word usage instead of policy, that way we can all feel smart without actually doing or changing anything. Aren’t we clever?
Refudiate. word of the day, kids! start using it in your every day life and it’ll make it’s way here soon enough whether the dems want it to or not!
Ms. Palin must be a very powerful figure indeed to inspire such discussion, disagreement, and dare I say hatred(!) from those on the left.
Last I heard, she was a private citizen. Let it go people. Let it go.
Just because Caribou Barbie can’t admit she made a mistake in her wording, we have to update our dictionaries just for her? Grow up Sarah, instead of focusing on defending your word gaffes and just admitting that you aren’t little miss perfect, maybe you should be working on polishing up those lovely bowls of tossed word salad you give us that you call speeches.
Simply points out her inability to use her own native tongue in an approriate manner. Should come as no surprise to anyonr.
It’s quite smart. There’s something exhilarating, attention getting about coining new words or simply mixing up existing ones to make a point. If you doubt it, refudiate is going to help keep Palin in focus!
Go have fun with these:
Overghasted and flabawhelmed!
Omilicious! As your sushi is so good it’s omilicious!
So they made up words, don’t we all? Don’t add em to the damn dictionary! That’s where we go to find real words Duh!
Maybe we conservatives can’t read or speak “good” after all. I thought the point of the comments here were to decide if a malapropism should wind up in the dictionary, but lo!, I have all these intellectually superior liberals making value judgments on Sarah Palin. Clearly, one group or other didn’t understand the question.
Of course, refudiate shouldn’t wind up in the dictionary. If it became a common term, then, of course, it should. It’s my position dictionaries should be descriptive. Look at words arising out of the technological revolution of the last 25 years: email, voice mail, URL. The lexicographers didn’t give us these word; we gave the words to them, and they dutifully included them as part of the “official” language.
If refudiate winds up in the dictionary, it will be for the same reason “irregardless” wound up there. My favorite definition of irregardless, and I forget what site it was from, was: a word that means the same as regardless, usually used by people pointing out how it’s not a word.
I would find it mentally hilarious if refudiate wound up in the dictionary specifically because people used it so often to denounce Sarah Palin.
I’m surprised to my myself agreeing with something Sarah Palin said. English is a living language and new words are added through common usage. Refudiate is not in common usage today, but Ms. Palin does have an audience, so maybe in a year or two it will be.i remember when I first heard the word “festivus”, which is now in common usage.
I “refudiate” Sarah Palin!
Seriously? She should move to a little island called “Stupid” and take all her “little people” with her!
I don’t think this word used by Sarah Palin should be entered in the dictionary. If it’s no such word-then it’s no word. Just because everyone knows her doesn’t mean she can make up words and we run with it. No No No!!!
Wait a second…
The language is “living” but the Constitution isn’t?
How is it that something that is made up of livings “cells” as it were is not a living document?
Words do indeed evolve. The word “Disingenuous” for example has morphed in it’s own meaning to the point where it is no longer a word but only a sound that implies whatever is intended, sort of like the words “grunt” and “groan.”
So all we have to do is change the meaning of the word “militia” to mean “gun less state” and the second amendment becomes internally inconsistent, and therefore must be ignored.
I know that sounds crazy (as if that word means anything today!) except when you realize that term “Well Regulated militia” has morphed to mean “Every man woman and child!”
ahem…it wasnt Gore who misspelled potato (“potatoe”) it was the previous VP…QUAYLE….ROFNMAO
I think the important distinction is that she thought it was a word and it’s not. Its on thing to introduce a work by choice and another to stumble on one. The woman is DUMB
“We-wee’d up”sounds comical, but the laughs should stop when the President hurls sarcastic replies at his political opposition by comparing their words to a bodily function. The day Palin receives the same protection from bloated faultfinding as Obama does is the day his audibily discharged winds will be unmistakably heard.
hey, I’m no Palin fan, but everyone makes the occasional mistake, let it go people…and Joni, that was Quayle misspelling ‘potato’ not Gore, nice try thou.
Maybe an English class will help Ms. Palin with the formality of the language. I do not believe anything could help with the fundamentalist/racist/ignorant content of it.
I recall the inhalator Dr. Obama prescribed for a kid suffering from asthma. (He came up with that after calling it a breathalyzer). Guess he must be an oaf, too.
the main issue to me is that instead of just laughing off the mistake, she’s comparing herself to the Bard and is coining words? Obama didnt try to defend his blunder with corpsemen. People do make mistakes..and if she just chalked it up to that there wouldnt be a debate.
Her message was serious in tone, so I don’t think she would have purposely chosen that moment in particular to create a new word. I think she made a mistake and tried to play it off like it was on purpose. Otherwise, I’d still have to criticize her for poor timing.
Lets get to the real issue here… Should “refudiate be included in the dictionary? no (not yet, at least). should there be a whole blog post and dozens of people fighting over a gaffed word by a private citizen? an EMPHATIC no.
it’s typical, though. George Allen said “macaca” (a gibberish word MEANT to be a gibberish word) and he was run out of the senate by people JUST like the ones posting here.
instead of making comments about a verbal gaffe of hers, why not try to break her arguments, or ideas on where the country should be headed? probably because you are UNABLE.
your academic pedigree does not outweigh the strength of her arguments. That infuriates you. grow up.
This is a very good argumentation from peoples who ain’t got not busy talkin. On wow I forget ain’t (ain’t a word). Oh neeva is argumentation or peoples or talkin. That might be a typo my bad. Dang democrats like people to talk like this tho if your not republican. Oh wells next.
Maybe it was a conjunction of repudiate (i.e., renounce the planned building) and refute (i.e., dispute the notion that it is necessary and appropriate at that exact location).
Regardless, EVERY politician has misused the English language from time to time, because they are human and speak often and much in the public eye. It’s bound to happen even to the most skilled orator. If you recall, one prominent and well-spoken politician tried to argue about the common meaning and usage of the word “is” to avoid taking responsibility for a far more serious act. But, I guess your political views dictate who is properly using the English language. The divisiveness and visciousness of politics today is shameful.
Palin has been excoriated and ridiculed for every innocent gaffe in her national political life and her thoughts misconstrued and scrutinized like no other. So, I think it is fair to say that she didn’t feel she could “just accept responsibiilty” for a typo (if it was) without giving her detractors one more reason to dismiss her intelligence. In light of that, I don’t blame her.
While I don’t agree with many of Palin’s political views, I am horrified by the sheer viscousness of the attacks on her. Party and political affiliation has gotten so far out of hand that our discourse has lost all civility– shameful. That’s why I went from being a Dem to an Independent.
No, no, no! A thousand times no!
There is a difference that even the very dim Ms. Palin must understand between misusing a word and coining it!
She used it wrong! End of story!
I like the comment about being “absolutely terrified” of Palin. ROFL I’m not sure how ANY of this translates to TERRIFIED. … um… absolutely astounded by the amount of crap that comes out of that woman’s mouth? maybe. lol
also, I don’t think it should be added just because she decided to make it up. If it starts getting used frequently and therefore must be added, well then that’s okay with me. but don’t add it just cause one person said it.
You know what amazes me. When someone like Sarah Palin uses a word that isn’t in the dictionary, liberals are the first to crucify her for it. Calling her ignorant and other bullish names liberals love calling people.
Yet, when opoprah decides to make up severly ignorant words and statements such as “wee wee’d it up”, or when someone uses the term “defriend” to slang an action on Facebook, all the liberals cried “Hallelujah! New words and lexicals have been created! They must be entered into the dictionaries for all to revel over!” and it was main stream buzz for months.
That’s definitely the epidemy of stupidity.
@Brian – Please don’t dismiss it as a typo either.. because “P” is not even on the same hand as “F”.. it’s being too dumb to know the word repudiate. Worse, she misuses it later..
@Parch – it’s not a mispronunciation.. it was Written….. you guys are so married to the husband that beats you (Bush, and will be Palin) that you ignore the most obvious flaws your candidates are too dumb to run the country or anything else (Texas Rangers, failed oil company etc.. ) – Our candidate was a True Harvard grad (not a ‘Daddy bought me my degree’ grad like Bush, who clearly not a man of any intellectual curiosity (doesn’t read newspapers – Clinton read 4/day, misundersestimated, “fool me twice, you you can’t get fooled again”) Idiot. Palin – tried to stretch he intellectual reach beyond the word “Patriot” and “True American” – and see what happens..
I’m sure that Sarah Palin was thinking repudiate and mispronounced the word. Big deal, all of us make mistakes especially when speaking before an audience. I admire her as she presents valid arguments for conservative thought. I like her because she is a real person who speaks her mind without a teleprompter and actually understands her platform, and, yes, she knows what a “corpsman” is.
LOL – this was so entertaining, I can’t remember what word I came here to look up!!
Your own arguments would be more persuasive if you didn’t make so many spelling mistakes on dictionary.com: hippocrites, “it’s way”, “lets”.
And no, “refudiate” should never be put in any dictionary. Neither should “irregardless.”
Sounds like a worthy entry for the Urban Dictionary. I agree with Derrick’s comment about Obama and corpsman = corpse-man. Crap, I learned that in 3rd grade I’m thinking!
And this clown made it through Haaa-vard, with supposedly the highest honors, which no one seems to be able to ‘refudiate’ since it’s all now part of the ‘National Secrets’ file (like his birth certificate).
In earlier times, the dunces were made to wear a cone-head cap and sit int the corner a while to ruminate on their errors. Today, we offer to add the examples of their folly to the national lexicon that these errors may be repeatiated over and over again.
“Refudiate” is clearly a “boneheadism,” my word that SHOULD be added to the dictionary to describe such utterances by the world’s great lunkheads. And boneheadisms come from unintended stupidity – they’re not words or new word artistry – so they should never see the light of such legitimization.
I think when the intent is to coin a new term in an effort to be inject new life into the language, then yes, the word should be added, but when it’s an obvious mistake–when it’s the result of simply grasping for a word, and ending up mispronouncing the intended word, then no, it shouldn’t be added to the language–in that case, there’s usually a perfectly good term already available that’s usually close in spelling and pronunciation. As a lover of words that’s my assessment.
Big deal–Not as bad as Obama not know how many states in USA. He said I just traveled 56 states, then ask “how many states do we have”
The Accidental Neologist
A person who creates new words, or makes a point of using them, is called a neologist. In his new book, Presidential Voices, author and noted linguist Allan Metcalf points out that to date, George W. Bush and Thomas Jefferson are front runners among presidential neologists. (Jefferson is said to have originated over 100 new words or phrases.)
Metcalf believes whether we like it or not, we’re all accidental neologists – the nature of American English makes it impossible not to be. When we add prefixes and suffixes – such as an ism to a president’s name – we become neologists. Thomas Jefferson thought it was not only necessary but desirable to create new words and expressions. In an 1820 letter to his old friend John Adams, Jefferson wrote:
am a friend to neology. It is the only way to give to a language copiousness and euphony. Without it we should still be held to the vocabulary of Alfred or of Ulphilas [nearly a thousand years earlier]; and held to their state of science also: for I am sure they had no words which could have conveyed the ideas of oxygen, cotyledons, zoophytes, magnetism, electricity, hyaline, and thousands of others expressing ideas not then existing, nor of possible communication in the state of their language. What a language has the French become since the date of their revolution, by the free introduction of new words! The most copious and eloquent in the living world; and equal to the Greek, had not that been regularly modifiable almost ad infinitum….
Good heavens NO! Just because some semi-literate puppet mispronounces their own mother tongue doesn’t mean dictionaries should jump to include them! There are things called spell checkers. And auto-cues. No need to add to the dumbing-down and bastardization of the English language…
By posting things like this on your website you clearly show a left wing bias that makes me lose all respect for the name that you have built for yourself on the internet.
Sorry to pick on you, but your post was one of the more entertaining out of the right wing Know Nothing Palin apologists’ posts.
“it’s typical, though. George Allen said “macaca” (a gibberish word MEANT to be a gibberish word) and he was run out of the senate by people JUST like the ones posting here.
Absolutely wrong. Macaca is a French racial slur that could most easily be compared to the English “n-word.” Please look it up. And you might want to stop apologizing for people like Allen who resort to racial slurs when frustrated. Keep in mind, he said this to a college student in front of a town hall meeting to embarrass the kid into leaving him alone. Allen is a coward, and deserves exactly what he got.
“instead of making comments about a verbal gaffe of hers, why not try to break her arguments, or ideas on where the country should be headed? probably because you are UNABLE.”
It wasn’t a “verbal gaffe,” genius. She tweeted it. Which means she had plenty of time to look up the correct spelling if she wasn’t so intellectually lazy.
And her “arguments” are easily “refudiated” by anyone with a GED. Palin is the worst kind of moron, which is why it’s so hilarious when people jump to her defense.
No one is afraid of her or infuriated by her intelligence. She’s done with politics and simply trying to become a reality TV star.
“your academic pedigree does not outweigh the strength of her arguments. That infuriates you. grow up.”
Yeah, dumb should outweigh smart every single time. That’s the Republican mantra.
Don’t make me chortle. Generally, I lean more toward a descriptive slant for dictionaries. However, not for this ill-starred “word.” Neologisms need to be used deliberately. Clearly, this is not the case here. This is a bare-faced attempt of Sarah’s to cover her malapropism in a smog of Shakespearian reference. Very slickery (as my son would say), Sarah.
The problem is that her followers probably didn’t realize that “refudiate” isn’t a real word. She’s not preaching to the brightest choir in the world.
I see that a lot of Sarah Palin enthusiasts are mad at the liberal media for being so critical of Sarah all the time. The refrain seems to be that she made a mistake, and we all have made mistakes like that. True enough, but she didn’t say she made a mistake, she claimed that she was doing her part to evolve the english language. She has chosen to be a highly visible public figure, and with that comes criticism, regardless of party affiliation. Stop making excuses for someone who is clearly prone to saying and believing very stupid things!
@ Joni. How simple are you? It wasn’t Al Gore who flubbed and misspelled potato; it was a fellow Republican, Dan Quayle.
Our Sarah Palin mashed two words. So? BTW, like it and her or not, she’s ours.
I hope her jumbled word does not end up being a word. Just because people who are famous keep saying a particular word to be “cute” or just because they are too lazy to speak correctly does not mean it should be used or even be in a dictionary. I’m already sick of hearing evoo.
Just because a word is repeated by someone who cannot be bothered to use a dictionary does not mean their mispronounced words should be even a word. It just proves that people are too lazy to learn the correct word(s) for the correct purposes.
I have a cousin who often mixes his words. He once couldn’t decide if something he did was a habit or a hobby and it came out as “a hobbit of mine.” Hobbit may have entered the language, just not in the way he used it.
Shakespeare created phrases more than new words, but the point is that they only became part of the language when they became common currency. Unless we all start using ‘refudiate’ it will remain a simple slip of the tongue.
Refudiate – (RE – fyoo – DEE – ate)
Verb (used with object) To prove erroneous and reject with extreme prejudice
Origin – 2010 (by the woman who gave Obama the presidency – thank you Sarah); rarely used by anyone of average intelligence; banned by those with any measure of common sense; celebrated by idiots and people who actually think Sarah Palin represents most conservatives.
If it can pass the “test” of usage and critical mass understanding then a word it is. I’m still irked bootilicious became a “word.” Makes me not want to talk.
Apart from the current spike in usage – ironically caused by discussions about its usage! – my guess is that it won’t end up in a dictionary too soon. Like “nucular,” it will do the rounds and provide endless opportunities to make fun of her, but the already existing words of “refute” and “repudiate” will continue to crowd it out.
I like Sarah Palin. She served Alaska well as a governor and she used to have integrity to spare before she got swept up in the circus.
I do not like her MALAPROPISM or any politician who can not, or does not speak clearly and intelligently.
As for the intended usage of the dictionary, I think that dictionaries do both. They are both a guide for how to use the language and a compendium of all relevant words in the language.
Yes, Sarah, the English language is living and ever changing. But it is that way because of it users, not its users’ leaders.
Even if you meant “refute” or “repudiate” or “vomit” or any number of viable verbs available to us in your little “tweet,” the clarity of the “tweet” fails. As my old rhetoric professor would say, I don’t know if you’re “f’r it, or agin’ it.”
The fact is: some want a mosque near Ground Zero and Palin, who identifies with “the heartland,” which, as I understand is middle America, apparently does not.
The mosque will be used by New Yorkers who need to worship and we should leave it up to them to decide whether it’s appropriate or not.
Even if I thought it mattered though, why on Earth would it stab “peaceful Muslims” in the heart to build a mosque near Ground Zero? The events of 9/11 were POLITICAL events, not RELIGIOUS events. It is unfortunate that the two are so easily confused.
The problem is that it’s not a word, and that Sarah Palin is no Shakespeare.
The test is usage. I’m not a fan of neologisms, especially those created out of sloppy language use, but if the word becomes widely used and adopted across a broad range of the English speaking world, it deserves recognition. As much as it pains me to say it, we have to ignore the source and allow the language to grow as it will.
I think that if Palin could clearly define “refudiate” without resorting to making up new words to substantiate her claim, I might buy. Unfortunately, Palin’s ability to string words together that form coherent thoughts is about as good as her understanding of geo-politics.
The actual substance of her statement was more offensive to me than her rather mundane conflation of two common terms. And that’s not saying much, really. It was the typical bland Republican “‘Merican” rhetoric we’ve all come to expect. There’s absolutely nothing new or interesting to see here.
Thanks for correcting me, Mike & Babs. All I remember is that there was a great deal of coverage over a politician who misspelled “potato” or “tomato.” I did an Internet search earlier today and Al Gore came up as the person who misspelled “potato.” I should have known better. With all of the media coverage, it had to be a Republican’s mistake. Mistakes by Liberals are always swept under the rug. We never would have heard about the potato misspelling if it had been a Democrat’s mistake.
What was her point in the first place?
In my experience, it could only be considered clever or inventive if she knew she was doing it, prior to doing it. For a quick example, a texting teenager who uses “kool” or “kewl” instead of “cool”: They know it’s not spelled that way, but they do it anyway. Shakespeare knew, very well, how he was using the language, and I would have to guess – based on her response, which attempted to shift focus away from her lack of a dictionary “skillz” to portray her in an unsubstantiated intellectual light – she had not looked it up beforehand and is just plain ignorant. Explaining it in such a way only makes her stupid. Now, if only we could get the News would pick up on that story….
Good Gravy People! She misspelled or misused a word then made a joke about it. Do we really have to go on and on about it. Crap happens, get a life!
Its one thing to make an honest mistake when attaching the wrong suffix, ending or grammatical intent to a word but to gather a forum around such a ridiculous mistake by a ridiculous and egotistical ex-governor is stretching our credibility as a nation of serious and just people. We forfeit our right to lead others if we can’t face our own flaws.
Has anyone bothered to read the compelling novel about the making of the Oxford dictionary (published in the 1990’s)?. Sarah Palin has done no such research and has not consulted with one acclaimed linguists of our time. Why are we even having a discussion about legitimizing her awful mistake instead of saying to her – be honest, get real, you erred, just admit it like the rest of us must do everyday of our lives. Why are we so willing to give her a pass on every dumb error she makes and try to cover her by making comparisons with lexical coined by Bush and Obama and errors by Biden. She gets rewarded for bad behaviour – an act we don’t afford to our misbehaved children. It is her responsibility to say, ‘hey I made a mistake, sorry’. She is not William Shakespeare and it is insulting for her and any news service that allows her to get away with the comparison.
This is a lady who writes crib notes to herself on her HAND during for public speeches…is anyone really surprised she has as much command of hte english language as GWB XD
I’ve had it with Presidential candidates who don’t know how to use the dictionary…it’s ‘lazy-speak’, no matter how you spin it.
“SLANG” – because it’s frequently used verbage that is not the definition…
“JARGON” – because nobody understands politicians claiming to fool the majority for the better…
“PIDGIN” – because its from Alaska where English it not yet their native language…
“SLANGUAGE” – because it’s an element thereof…
“LINGUA FRACAS, UPPITY-PLEBIAN, DIELECTRICAL (sic: insolated standoffish), …” ad nauseam.
We can’t do this. I understand that the fundamental use of words is to communicate, and in using the bastardization of ‘repudiate’ and ‘refute,’ we are able to gather by textual osmosis what she was trying to communicate. There are, however, rules. They exist to form order from what could end up being lexicographical chaos. Sure, words make their way into language by popularity, but that’s the essence of their inclusion. Simply because this hybridization of two words gives shape to her intent to communicate either of them does not grant it membership to the club of dictionary listings.
I, for one, will not use this combination of letters that result in a misguided attempt at seeming intelligent.
Nor will I ever say, ‘Nucular.’
Hey pinheads, give the lady a break… why the vitriol when her name is mentioned? And please, stop salivating.
Joni, in response to your earlier post, (i.e. Joni on July 19, 2010 at 11:45 am
I’ll bet that Sarah can spell “potato” – which is more than I can say for Al Gore! LOL!”
That honor goes to Dan Quayle who was the Vice President under George Bush, Sr.. That error took place in 1992.
If it is your intention to create a new word, then that’s fine. But if it’s by accident, due to an idiotic brain misfiring (like the Palin incident) then no, you can’t revise history and say you were creating a new word when in fact you were just stupid and didn’t realize it.
Making the occasional mistake is all right. Comparing oneself to Shakespeare for it is profoundly not all right. Regardless of politics.
Sarah Palin played the liberal media like a fiddle. She originally deleted the tweet and was going to use the word refute. She must have thought about the PR mileage she’d get out of using it and decided to put it back up.
Like someone dangling a yarn string in front of a cat, Palin gets the media all wee wee’d up by playing into their meme and then turns it to her benefit. They can misunderestimate her all they want, but if they don’t realize that by not leaving the attacks and the smears at the end of the 2008 election at the door, they (out of fear) continued going after her and created the monster they were afraid she’d become. Look up the word “manifestation.”
If American English dictionaries decide to add this word, the credit should go all to the liberal media. Anyone can think making a mistake on a word demonstrates lack of intelligence or you can accept that humans make mistakes sometimes. The real lack of intelligence is demonstrated by the intellectual elites who fell for her using the mistake to bait them when she could have easily just deleted the tweet.
And if you took the other position that it’s no big deal because humans make mistakes, all of this would have never even come up. Unfortunately, sanctimonius liberals don’t look at the world that way.
The Bard may not have been original, but at least he gave a nation some much needed literary heritage.
And Ms Palin? Well, if anything she has insulted many by considering herself worthy of a vote.
She’s America’s equivalent of Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, or Tony Abbott, for that matter.
Typo or mispronunciation? Funny how Palin makes the left go wild with a misspelled tweet, yet Obama can mispronounce “corps man” as “corpse man” twice in an address, declare that he has visited “57 states,” erroneously attribute scientific/technology achievements to Muslims in his Egypt speech, and nary a blink from the media, unless it’s to defend him (oh, he was tired, he “misspoke”). Biden has made countless blunders… like the word “jobs” has three letters, or his stupid gaffe about FDR being on TV during the 1930s, or asking a crippled vet to stand before an audience.
Palin made a simple mistake – like no one has ever done that in a tweet before. Much ado about nothing.
Sarah Palin is ignorant as it relates to grammatical correctness. Check you the essential meaning of ignorant and you may find that you too are also ignorant. No harm intended look it up first before you get angry and if you know everything then there is absolutely no ignorance in you.
Others may disagree
I’m only concerned with one thing, “Refudiate” ISN’T A REAL WORD! Why are we discussing this, why are we saying its not her fault, it IS HERE FAULT! SHE MADE UP A WORD!! HAHAHAHAHA!
Whether Palin was intentionally attempting neologism or accidentally madlibbed the term in question, the apparently parent terms share so many connotations that the combination seems natural, while incorrect. Unfortunately, her new word is a redundant linguistic brontosaurus that does nothing that “refute and repudiate” didn’t already do, except remind us of the sensational coinage of the term itself. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that “refudiate” should simply be “refudiated” from consideration for inclusion in the dictionary.
@Brian (who posted a comment at 11:21 a.m.): If people had listened to the whole tape/video of Vice President Biden in the frozen custard shop, they would have heard Biden and the store manager JOKING about Biden’s comment. The store manager (on tape) seems to have no problem with Mr. Biden and his comment.
@Cheryl (who posted a comment at 11:05 a.m.) I agree. Please make Sarah Palin go away. However, if she is the next Republican candidate for president, that will be good for President Obama. I wouldn’t dare to say that I was qualified to be president, but I’m more qualified than Sarah Palin.
Really? Who cares if she mis-spoke? She’s in the public all the time, it’s going to happen. The focus of the public should be on this slap in face the Mosque represents. Do matter what these mosque founders claim; it’s a lie. They want to pour salt on our wound.
sorry forgot to answer the question
1. it will not end up in the dictionary. if it does it will go in backwards like all the ignoramuses who use irregardless (who don’t immediately see the double negative of prefix irr and suffix less as contradictory.(that’s fancy City talk parts of words that go in front of and behind the body of the words for my conservative friends in the heartland)
2. Her defense is a complete and utter lie.. it’s not a typo, is not a mis-speak – she WROTE the word.. so either she didn’t understand the word refute or she didn’t understand the word repudiate. AND ddin’t look it up! Additionally, in her second tweet iteration, she MISUSES the word REFUTE… so we can see clearly, it’s Not a fun or deliberate attempt.. an idiot, and now, a liar. It’s ok Sarah.. just tell the Right you’re stupid.. the left already knows and face it, they forgave Bush 1000 times over.. but they don’t like liars, so just fess up; you didn’t know the word. You’re an illiterate pretty face-piece for the dullards on the right hide their ugly bigotry and avarice (that means greed) that the Right sands for… and we’ll call it even. By the way, you don’t read “All of them” (newspapers) that’s pretty clear (another nice lie) it’s ok, just tell us you don’t care enough intellectually to read.. .. tell us you skim the front page of the Alaska whatever.. most americans can relate to that.. but you lied.
@Reagan TMan: How do you know that Ms. Palin was going to use “refute” and then changed her mind?
@Jackson Rogers (posted comment at 11:30 a.m.): President Obama didn’t misspeak about the Selma, Alabama, civil rights march; you misunderstood. He was talking about how the march and the civil rights movement helped change things so that his mother could marry a black man.
TO ALL: If you don’t know grammar, how to punctuate, or how to spell, I don’t think you should be posting comments on a dictionary website.
Another word Sarah Palin uses a lot is “lamestream” media… as in the lousy, liberal biased bullcrap main stream media hacks… how come this dictionary.com operation doesn’t have that word either? this is a lousy,lazy site…. can’t even keep up with the current words in use never mind new ones Sarah is creating to deal with the liberals and Obama’s socialist policies…. Obama and company are race baiting all the way.
I refuse to repudiate Sarah Palin on the mere grounds that she tried to pass off a verbal blunder as some sort of new word, a “Palinism” if you will. No, the lady has some great ideas. And I’m certain that she’ll share them with the rest of us when she’s good and ready.
I enjoy how the Palin haters call her stupid when you guys seem to miss the entire point of this article. They are not advocating that it be added to the dictionary, just pointing out that language is constantly shifting. And if a word becomes popular enough, then they have to decide if it should be added. It’s called reading comprehension. Try it sometime, instead of lashing out in all directions like 5 year old children.
NO it’s not a word! Why can’t she just say she made a mistake? Her britches are so big she can’t admit to an error.
Sarah Palin should create a facebook account because on facebook you can misspell words, pronounce them wrong, you can say “Refudiate” and just use LOL behind it and get away with it. This will help save words that aren’t words from getting in the dictionary thereby saving space for actual words.
My two cents: corrigendum. She’s not the first person I’ve heard use that word. Words are blended all the time, but the context is typically correct.
Will it end up in the dictionary: ????
It’s apparently important enough for some people to scream about. So please, continue to use the word, even if you want to make fun of her. By your own labor, you may just ensure that it does end up in the dictionary. If that happens then Palin will ultimately be correct, and YOU WILL BE WRONG.
Making a link out of a word and at the same time explaining the very word inline is sheer idiocy.
Forget about “refudiate.” If building a mosque in New York stabs us in the heart, shouldn’t all Christian churches be torn down in Vietnam, Iraq, and other recipients of our benevolence?
You missed the obvious one – normalcy, coined by Warren G. Harding. And like Palin, he didn’t have intelligence nor lawful business dealings going for him, either!
I wonder if it wasn’t just a type of “repudiate” but then Palin’s message team just decided to run with it.
These days politicians like to show they are a regular ‘ol person and this is kind of the Palin brand.
Many years ago I often used the word flustrated. My friend told me that it’s either frustrated or flustered. I said it’s like a combination of frustrated and flustered. She said I shouldn’t use it. In fact it gives me a spell check error when I type flustrated. Guess what at dictionary.com it’s now in there “Origin:
flustrate (b. fluster and frustrate) + -ed”.
I understood what Palin meant and agreed with the sentiment of the message. It’s just counterproductive to get all worked up over her combining two words. Big whoop! The message resonates.
People, especially elitists have to pick apart Palin. I don’t know how many nights I’ve stayed up late “googling” things. You won’t find that at dictionary.com either but you all know what it means to be “googling”.
I cannot believe some of the self-important comments on this topic. It’s no wonder we have such polarization in politics when even people on a Dictionary site are trying to one-up each other on smearing a decent person for a silly mistake. I’d love to see more people turning away from their hate and moving towards constructive words and actions.
Funny thing is that Sarah Palin is in fact smarter than every leftwing moron poster on this board. I can’t wait for the debates between that big eared jackass you call president and Sarah Palin. Guess what!! No teleprompters allowed. She’ll mop the floor with that fraud. Maybe you should keep score and compare the stupid things that genius with the teleprompter says,(actually he reads, and still gets it wrong, corpseman, bwahahaha), with the errors Palin makes. What errors Palin makes are puny compared to Barak Hussein Obama, mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm. You people that judge her don’t realize the irony. She would wipe the floor with any of you. Now don’t get me started with Joe Biden. HAHAHAHA
What’s the problem? Refudiate is obviously the animation of the word refute. I like it!
@ClassicFilm I agree with what you wrote. Both Obama and Biden have made many more blunders than you’ve mention. How about when Obama said “countries like Europe…”
I agree with the sentiment of Palin’s message, it’s one that shouldn’t be missed because some are so busy picking her apart.
Really? You have GOT to be kidding me. As an English teacher, I am appalled that you would buy into this malarkey. Simply because a person uses a word in the wrong way does NOT mean that it’s a “new word.” All it means is that she made a mistake and won’t admit it.
AAAAAAARRRGGGGHHHH. Why would you bother arguing about something so DUM?
Get a life people.
Palin and the rest of the uneducated, overly conservative middle-America are a disgrace to the United States of America. In liberal thinking we see the revolutionary thoughts of great Americans like Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
Wow. To all the people making this out to be a political attack: it’s not a matter of politics. It’s a matter of awareness. Everyone makes mistakes, but my personal issue with hers is that, although she is in the public eye and she knows it, she doesn’t have the presence of mind to think twice before making any sort of statement, written or otherwise. And my second personal problem with this was her response -it was immature, but what is worse, she tried to justify a simple mistake with an arrogant quip equating herself to a master of the English language. There’s a big difference between creating new words and confusing old ones.
P.S. Not only was this not a “liberal attack” as some are calling it, but the article even draws attention to some of Obama’s mistakes -almost as if it foresaw the legions of overprotective Palin hounds…
Palin had a point about the English language (or any language for that matter) as “living”. All languages evolve. Think of the similarities between French, English and Spanish alone. Un, deux trois; one, two, three; uno, dos, tres. It’s obvious the languages have a lot in common. People groups get separated, influenced by other languages and words change. Making that argument when you accidently botch the language is just a convenience put the point is real.
I’m surprised that I could search this comment page for the word “portmanteau” and it never came up. Come on, friends, maybe she made the choicision (you see?) to create her own word to allude to BOTH meanings. I’m flustrated (get it yet?) that you can’t recognize her cleverness.
Maybe she’s also not the brightest bulb in the box.
But I love portmanteaus, and hey, 160 characters is small enough to make people type ridiculous things to get their points across. I know it’s fun to take swipes at other people based on celebrity ex-politicians, but I’m disappointed that so few people are tackling the real challenge of this topic: does the dictionary lead the language, or follow it?
Question: Can future blogs please avoid any reference to American politics…please?
Sarah Palin’s use of a non-word (and likewise with any other person be intelligent or not)should not be entered into the dictionary. The only thing that should occur after anyone uses a word either incorrectly or made up is for them to be advised of their error and for them to then acknowledge the error and correct it. For Sarah Palin to suggest that her use of a made up word is on par with Shakespeare simply further illustrates her poor knowledge and inability to acknowledge her own mistakes.
Further whether a word is commonly used, or not commonly used but said by someone in the media spotlight, if the word is not used correctly a dictionary definitely should NOT adapt to the speaker, rather the speaker should be corrected.
And by 160 characters, I meant 140. I haven’t been on Twitter in a long while, sorry.
I resemble that remark!
I think Sarah Palin had a serendipitous moment. I wonder what word she would creat combining serendipity and lucky? I think that word would describe Sarah Palin – I don’t think she would “refudiate” that description.
Saracuda can go besmirch someone else’s language.
Jesus, can you believe she is a college graduate AND a “journalism” major?
Is Ms. Palin claiming her Tweets are Shakespearean or Carrollian prose?
You don’t get to just make up words as you see fit and expect to be understood, unless your neologisms are explained in context and vindicated in genre.
Politics is an inappropriate genre for neologisms, because context will always be misconstrued.
Honestly, I think that she was only trying to defend her mistake in speaking. If she was intentionally trying to make up a word, or having a reason to say so, it should be in the dictionary (no matter how unintelligent she is). But she just tries to cover herself up, a habit of the unwise and dull. I personally don’t think it should be in the dictionary. Should the words often being by a ten year old like me (lametastic, loseriffic and sucktacular) be in the dictionary? No. So hers shouldn’t. Also, bringing up Shakespeare is kind of ridiculous. It’s like Stephenie Meyer saying that Twilight is the next Macbeth. Seriously, she should just say, “Sorry.” or “Oops.” or, the wisest words known to man, “I didn’t know.” Or “I don’t know.” No, I believe that there’s no way that it should be allowed in our dictionary.
“Why is every breath she takes magnified and researched for mistakes?”
Joni, one need not do either. Her mistake is right there jumping out at us. I agree that the press should give her a break. Allow her to slink back to the obscurity from whence she sprang.
“Well, it’s good to see that the hard left continues to be absolutely, positively terrified of Palin.”
Apparently in the GOP dictionary, “terrified” = “amused.”
“Way to be vicariously prideful.”
You don’t by any chance mean “proud,” do you?
Do I think we should add the word? Hella Noa – LOL…
What do I think of her defense? “She’s an idiot” seems plausible to me…
You know the Nation is FUBAR, SNAFU, screwed, pick your favorite colloquial saying…when celebs proudly display their lack of intelligence and then back it up with something like “Got to celebrate it…”
I find it truly amazing that so many people defend folks like Palin and G-Dubya as “…someone you’d want to have a beer with – that’s the kind of person I would vote for…” yet those same simpletons enjoy this great American democracy created by a bunch of folks who they wouldn’t have wanted to have a beer with…
Last days of the empire folks…
“…or when someone uses the term “defriend” to slang an action on Facebook, all the liberals cried “Hallelujah! New words and lexicals have been created! They must be entered into the dictionaries for all to revel over!?
I’ve never heard any such thing. Perhaps you might provide a source for this statement. And Faux Noise doesn’t count.
If you can “friend” someone, you can “de-friend” them. See, context is everything, although personally I feel a need to hyphenate it.
When exactly did “slang” become a verb?
Ummm Steph et al…because she ran for the 2nd highest office in the land, would then had been on deck for the #1 slot behind a guy with questionable health, because she’s a fame whore, and she just refuses to go away. Believe me, I would LOVE for Palin to slink back into Alaska and just live her life in obscurity BUT she clearly doesn’t want that. NOBODY is making her stay in the public eye but again, she’s a fame-whore right up there with Heidi and Spence…
So yeah – she brings it on herself – if she doesn’t like being under a microscope, then needs to either get back to school or do as you said and truly slink away…
Wow, just wow!! The comments from the cult members who no doubt embrace “Ebonics” as a real language, are pure hate filled rants.
Maybe “corpsemen” was added to the dictionary along with the revision of our history, you know, we now have 57 states because the dear leader says so. Did he also find the Great Lakes? Of course his statements are only misspeaking because, gosh darn it, the vacations are getting so exhaustive, and the parties at the WH wear him plum out. It isn’t his fault, really. Now is you are a White, Conservative, Republican, Supporter of Small Government and State’s Rights, well, you are obviously just “stoooooooooopid”.
Now is you are a White, Conservative, Republican, Supporter of Small Government and State’s Rights, well, you are obviously just “stoooooooooopid”.
Oops, I better correct that typo lest the grammar police jump all over my “stooopiddity”.
That would be ” Now IF you are a White…….
“instead of making comments about a verbal gaffe of hers, why not try to break her arguments, or ideas on where the country should be headed? probably because you are UNABLE. ”
According to Palin, she believes in limited government and personal freedom (for example, re: property rights). Why, then, does she feel free to dictate what a group who owns a piece of property does with that property (which, BTW, is not at the Ground Zero site)?
Oh yah, because they are fundy Muslims, not fundy xtians. Hypocrite.
Game, set, match.
I do not think that, “Repudiate”, has a chance of ever making it into the dictionary, but good news for Sarah Palin…I think that she will make it into the dictionary underneath the meanings of stupid, illiterate, dumb, and ignorant! She should be so proud! On a serious note, if you do not know what in the world you are talking about, it is best just to keep quiet! I can’t believe that people actually think that this woman could be our President one day! Oh! WAIT A MINUTE…AMERICA DID KEEP GEORGE W. BUSH IN OFFICE FOR EIGHT, VERY LONG YEARS, SO IT COULD BE POSSIBLE!!!
Also, for her to defend herself with…wait a minute…the best defense ever…HERE IT COMES: “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”
This totally saved her…REALLY!… IT DID!… OH!JUST KIDDING!
If Sarah Palin said it, it must be Right.
Steph on July 19, 2010 at 4:28 pm
Saracuda can go besmirch someone else’s language.
Jesus, can you believe she is a college graduate AND a “journalism” major?
Have you actually been reading MSM lately? Talk about grammar mistakes. That’s what we have come to expect from our young college grads. Social Justice is more important than proper English, don’t ya know?
Sarah has more journalism credibility than any so called journalist today. Why do you think the new name for the State Run Media is also know as the Lame Stream Media?
Go ahead and add refudiate. But only if you also add d*****k and put Palin’s photo next to it.
Dan @ 12:49 pm. Were you making a joke, or do you really not know? The word you wanted was “epitomy.” I know this is yet another rabbit-trail, yet I can’t help but notice what appears to be another glaring error in this whole, crazy rabbit-trail discussion.
I haven’t read all the blogs, but, are there any students that turn in a term paper and had points taken off your paper because of misspelled word or you incorrectly used a word in a sentence?
Or, anyone that has a manger at work that belived you must spell check and grammars check every document you send out?
I agree that the word should not be added to a dictionary because Sarah said it…
Her tweets need to be ghostwritten, just liker her autobiography.
As someone who once considered a professional career as a lexicographer, I am frequently reminded of how ignorant and uneducated the general populace has become. Grammatical errors and blatant misspellings abound, from the front page of newspapers, to the top selling books of today. While I do not wish to see “refudiate” included in our dictionaries, my opinion is that any person who remains reasonably unbiased will afford Mrs. Palin a margin of error, whether it is admitted as such, or no.
I remember Hillary Clinton saying that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, despite the fact that he was made famous by his climb of mount Everest, which took place six years after her birth. Her assertion of her name’s origin may have been an honest mistake, or a deliberate lie. Point being, we could talk all day about various public figures and their blunders. What I find ironic is the fact that many of Mrs. Palin’s detractors did not free their comments of the same ignorance that they accuse her of.
On an additional note, there is a way to delineate the difference between those who are intelligent and those who pretend to be.
The intelligent person uses language to clarify what they mean. The pretender uses it in an attempt to define who they are. The intelligent person uses the most descriptive word, however “big” or small it may be. The pretender uses the largest word possible, regardless of whether the meaning fits their purpose. The intelligent person is ultimately concerned with the pursuit of truth. The pretender is ultimately concerned with the pursuit of egocentricity (building their image).
That said, I sincerely doubt that either “refudiate” or “Wee-wee’d up” will appear in dictionaries, apart from the occasional slang reference.
As for Mrs. Palin’s defense, I consider it appropriate. I’d honestly not wish to see anyone who left derogatory remarks above placed under the same scrutiny Mrs. Palin has received, as they can’t even get through a comment without blunders, much less numerous speeches, emails, and tweets that she makes on a regular basis.
“Remember that a really long sentence and a run-on sentence are not the same thing.”
It’s getting harder to look up words here — every time I do, the Blog lures me in. Thanks for the great examination of our ever evolving language! I will never refudiate your site.
Its definitely a malapropism. She has the vocabulary of a dog.
What you unsuspecting linguists at Dictionary.com are witnessing is another example of desperate Google-bombing leftist loons furiously searching for a stake to drive into the heart of Sarah Palin’s increasing popularity, and — even more importantly — her relevancy.
They attempted something like this in January 2010, when Palin spoke on Fox News Channel after President Obama’s first State of The Union address. She spoke to Sean Hannity regarding Obama’s proposed “mandation of health care.” Left-leaning quasi-journalists like bloggers Shannyn Moore of AKMuckraker, Media Matters contributor Oliver Willis, and Mediaite.com’s Colby Hall sprung into action. A commenter on Moore’s blog wrote: “‘Mandation’ is not found anywhere in the dictionary. I taught U.S. History and … government  for 33 years [and] I can say that if [Palin] had been a student in one of my government classes, she would have failed the course.” Willis — whose blog is falsely subtitled “Like Kryptonite to Stupid” — wrote “America’s Idiot and Fox News front woman Sarah Palin has made up a new word.” Of the word “mandation,” Hall of Mediaite.com initially wrote, “No, that’s not a real word.”
In fact, “mandation” IS a real word, though rarely used in common conversation, and is not in abridged dictionaries. When searched online, it shows up in the titles of several policy papers in which professors and professional researchers lay out the benefits and consequences of newly-proposed government regulations. So, to all those people who figured Palin’s use of “mandation” confirmed their opinion she is somewhat illiterate, it proved exactly the opposite! It seems she was doing her homework, and (perhaps) found the fancy word in the process. Meanwhile, her sworn enemies were so ignorant, they thought if she said something THEY didn’t understand, that SHE must have been wrong. Surprise!
In both the cases of “mandation” and “refudiate,” the Palin-haters are careful not to address the substance of what Palin has said or written. They are hoping to shift the focus to a verbal error to distract you from examining what might be a legitimate and logical argument. Why let them manipulate you? You can read Palin’s note regarding the proposed Ground Zero mosque for yourself, and make your own decision about whether she makes sense without her detractors’ prejudicial pre-publicity.
To Colby Hall’s credit: following a commenter’s proof the word “mandation” did exist, Hall struck-through the word “real” in the sentence “No, that’s not a real word,” replaced it with “common,” and wrote a postscript correcting his snap judgment.
Is refudiate that bad. I would still like to know what is up with “whasup”?
Dear Way Left,
Since Barack Obama is such an intellectual, perhaps we should add “Epancipate” to the dictionary. What do you think?
Amen, Ivy, Amen.
Oh, and as for her autobiography being ghostwritteen, have you noticed the similarities of Obama’s book and the writings of Bill Ayers?
When then-President Lyndon Johnson in a public speech mistakenly referred to the RS-71 “BlackBird” spy-plane as the “SR-71″, the Air Force did the politically savvy thing and just changed the aircraft’s official designation from what it had been during development to what President Johnson had errantly referred to it as. Forrest Gump told us, “It Happens”.
Bottom line: if Sarah calls the gaffe a mistake, that’s one thing (and the story is over). What she said makes her dumber than dirt. For those that support her, you are too.
since the first president to have his image broadcast via television was Herbert Hoover it’s possible FDR did make a speech or two on TV – but, I doubt it – just another case of political “mis-speak”.
Well whattya know? I created another word….”ghostwritteen”. Even the best of us slip up from time to time.
“The time has changed for come.” (Barack Obama)
“Let me be absolutely clear, Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s.” (Barack Obama)
“I want to be very clear, we are resolved to halt the rise of [piracy] privacy.” (Barack Obama reading off a teleprompter)
“The reforms we seek, will bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system.” (Barack Obama reading off a teleprompter)
“There is much to celebrate from the FBI’s 100 days” [years] . (Barack Obama reading off a teleprompter)
“I don’t know what the term is in Austrian.” (Barack Obama to an audience of Austrians who, of course, speak German)
Refers to Matt Lauer as “Tim” not once but at least three times during an interview with Matt Lauer. (Barack Obama)
Refers to a guy named Mr. Williams as “Mr. Walters.” (Barack Obama)
“…Here in St. Louis… I’m in Kansas City.” (Barack Obama during his own nomination convention)
“How’s it going, Sunshine?” (Barack Obama in Sunrise, Florida)
“Thank You, Sioux City.” (Barack Obama in Sioux Falls)
Reads the word “Corpsman” as “Corpse Man“ twice (Barack Obama reading off a teleprompter)
“I have now been in 57 states.” (Barack Obama)
And we are constantly hearing about the “busted” oil well. I learned that “busted” is slang, not the correct form of the word. No one worries about that incorrect usage by reporters. Interesting how we attack one person for an error but overlook a whole industry’s errors.
Easily the first reasonable defense of Palin I’ve ever come across, professional or otherwise.
As rare as civility and intelligent discourse are these days, well constructed posts such as yours are a breath of fresh air.
As for her other apologists on this site, well…
I don’t know if it is true or not, but it is widely said that the word “quiz” was deliberately invented in a single evening on a bet. I myself invented a word “Nameran” well over thirty-years ago, but it has yet to catch on or appear in any dictionary (although it should). In these days of a multi-cultural American society, names Are important, and ‘Namerans’ are Native Americans (long mistakenly called American Indians), whereas ‘Indians’ are from India, and ‘Indian-Americans’ are people from India now living in America. As a exceedingly wise man long ago said, let him who has never mispoke cast the first dictionary … and with that, the critics all wandered away.
Forget about the word controversy. I don’t understand the idea she was trying to communicate. I mean, really, “doesn’t it stab you in the heart” What the hell is she talking about? I don’t get it. I would like her to retweet (new word?) her tweet so I can understand her what she is trying to communicate.
My 5 year old is smarter than Palin (I’m not kidding — and it really isn’t a big deal, is it?), so does that mean we should add a new word every time she says something a little off?
So very many people use “hard”, when they should use “difficult”.
So many people say “right”, when what they mean is “correct”.
People say “what’s left”, when what they mean is “what remains”.
We have names for areas of ocean (Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterrean, Indian, South China Sea, Baltic Sea, the North Sea, etc.) but they are all part of one single globe-encompassing ocean, which strangely has no common name to be used among people other than oceanographic professionals. The Aluminum Corporation of American (Alcoa) long ago misspelled the element ‘aluminium’ and stuck to that, leaving the U.S. with a long-standing and errant word in common use. The word ‘corn’ actually means the principal local grain crop, such that corn in Scotland may be oats; corn in Russia may be rye or barley; corn in Vietnam is rice; corn in other areas could be milo, millet, or sorghum, and corn in Iowa is maize, most often referred to as “America corn”. Words are important, but people of all professional misuse them every day. I agree with Palin: “Peaceful Muslims, please refudiate.”
As peaceful Muslims in America, she wants to do what? Sorry, we don’t understand when you choose non-words. And why should the former governor of Alaska have a say in this matter?
For accuracy’s sake — In my previous comment, I wrote three things which need clarification:
1. Palin-hating blogger Shannyn Moore does NOT publish AKMuckraker, that is her Palin-hating colleague Jeanne Devon. Moore’s blog is named Just a Girl From Homer.
2. I was under the impression that Palin had a Facebook note that expanded her stance against the proposed Ground Zero mosque she expressed in her “refudiate” tweet. She does not at this time.
3. I wrote that Media Matters contributor Oliver Willis’ blog was “falsely subtitled ‘Like Kryptonite to Stupid’”. That one’s accurate, now more than ever.
You guys are so entertaining, developing a heated debate over the extreme controversy of a tweet. I mean, so what if Palin made a typo and instead of admitting it, defended it as if she were in debate class? She is a politician–that’s usually how they react. Is it so abhorrent if people (yes, politicians are still people) make errors or fabricate their own words? I create random words all the time; since when is it a crime? However, since it’s Sarah Palin, fuss is made out of nothing. And fuss will continue to be made out of, I repeat, NOTHING. Seriously, get a life people and stop complaining every time someone in the public eye makes a mistake. It’s bound to happen once in a while and it does.
People use “irregardless” (a non-word) and “you and I” (instead of “you and me”) as a subject in an attempt to sound smarter, but their frequency of misuse should not be cause to accept them as correct.
If it’s not a word, stop using it, apologize for the error, and move graciously on.
I’m sad I spent time reading this. I appreciate the interesting insight into mixed-upped wordses and the lexical spin on “woe as we, art to life, or life to art?”, but must we include a political party in everything we discuss, now? Can’t we as a society stop our 24-hour, May-fly memory cycle and Jerry Springer thirst for blood and focus once again on genuine concerns for our various homelands, and collectively, our species?
Maybe the headline could have read something like, “Refudiate – you be the judge”, rather than a title that made me immediately cringe and wonder why I can’t even escape the sludge-minded tug-o-war on a dictionary website. Ugh. What has happened to us? We’ve become tools of our own machine. Fly me to the moon, Frank.
And so now, even “Dictionary.com” has become, as most mainstream media in this country, nothing more than a left-wing mouthpiece with intentions to further discredit and belittle the conservatives within contemporary American society
This is done by NOT focusing on the facts of the state of the union, or encouraging intelligent dialog among the many diverse opinions for solutions to the problems thereof,
but rather by sidetracking those with minimal attention spans and loudest voices, having them simply “shout down” ( any possibility of healing discourse.
And at the same time, gain for themselves an appearance of intelligence and status.
Dictionary.com, I regret EVER using you as a reference material.
celebs proudly display their lack of intelligence and then back it up with something like “Got to celebrate it…”>>>>>
Only in a world where people are proud of their ignorance is “elite” a pejorative.
It’s like the “we’ve been deceptioned” flub on the Sony forums… “refudiate” may take on a meme of its own. Unfortunately.
And yet, as of this moment, unlike Yahoo, you have not removed my comment. My link to the definition of “shout down” is gone, but the main content of the post itself is intact.
Perhaps there is yet hope for calm, problem solving, intelligent discussion in this country
United we stand, divided we fall.
Don’t point out the speck in your brother’s eye when you have a beam in yours
What the ‘FRICK’ is wrong with ‘all ya’ll’ ‘creepers?’ Since when is everyone who makes an error suddenly “unintelligent”, “stupid”, “illiterate”, and “full of crap”? I swear, if you counted all the typos and mispronunciations I made, you’d be a millionare. And if S. Palin wasn’t, in fact, making a minor blunder, and she really had coined a new word in light of the Bard, is that really so criminal???! Um, hello, do you know how languages are created? OMG, that’s not a word so, “What she said makes her dumber than dirt. For those that support her, you are too.” Wasn’t that nice? Now there’s an example of a lefty persuasion to join their party. You know what, screw dems and reps! You guys spend the whole time arguing over silly crap like this instead of actually doing something for the country. I mean, hello, there’s a huge oil spill “busting” out into the Gulf. Doesn’t anyone care about that?
Amen to those who point out the “gotcha” games that seem to be played only from left to right. For the record, George W. Bush was not the first to say “misunderestimated.” The word was coined by Will Farrell on Saturday Night Live while spoofing Bush, who subsequently repeated the word often in an admirable effort at self-deprication.
If only those on the right were as smart as The Chosen One, who freely and magnanimously disseminates his wisdom to all, including the intrepid Navy “corpse-men” of the “57 states” (do a YouTube search of both phrases with “Obama”) of this great country. Or JJ’s 5-year-old…
Alright, I finally got it today–Sarah Palin is stupid. Those of you (the perfect ones) who have never made an error speaking or writing in your life, cast the first vote against her in 2012. The rest of us (regular Americans) who err from time to time, cast your vote against the perfect Harvard educated genuis Obama. Then, let’s see who goes down first.
Sarah Palin would probably “refudiate” those who declare that “Hispanics should not have to learn English,” so if she thinks immigrants should learn the English language, why shouldn’t our own citizens (including Ms. Palin) have to learn it, and employ it correctly?
I’m with Sarah on this. It’s a living language. People can coin new words whenever they want. Why waste time learning existing words when you can coin new words. With this excuse, I can tell my English teacher to stop correcting my writing and start learning new words and grammar I just coined.
Nom de guerre: I sincerely wish I could just let this schtuff go, but I can’t — the haters won’t allow it. As I outlined in my first comment, “refudiate” is on millions of lips now like “mandation” was in January because there is no misstep Sarah Palin can make that people obsessed with destroying her won’t extrapolate into an international scandal.
This is by design. If you haven’t yet heard of Saul Alinsky, Google “Rules For Radicals” and read what he wrote about ridicule. You’ll begin to get it.
This is a nice post about an interesting topic. I don’t find it in any way political beyond the fact that it’s about a politician. I never thought that dictionary.com would be the place for left v. right debates!
To everyone who wasted time reading this STUPID blog like I did and bothered to scroll this far down:
And please, PLEASE, do it quickly before you can waste another half-hour on more butt-loads of nothingness.
I WILL LIKE TO REFUDIATE SOMETHING I JUST WROTE: The rest of us (regular Americans) who err from time to time, cast your vote against the perfect Harvard educated genuis Obama.
RATHER: The rest of us (regular Americans) who err from time to time, let’s cast our vote against the perfect Harvard educated genuis Obama.
I don’t understand why people are making such a big deal of this. Surely, Palin misspoke, but nobody can expect perfection from any of our politicians.
The issue arises, I suppose, with her cover-up, which was childish and, to put it bluntly, stupid.
To all those proclaiming a liberally biased media, I’d like to see a shred of evidence supporting this (other than the whole “majority of reporters voted for Democrats” argument, as that holds nothing for a few obvious reasons that become apparent with a quick investigation). While crafting your silly argument, be sure to have the Fair & Balanced Fox News on in the background.
That being said, I don’t see why anybody cares about this at all.
i have no troblem with mixing words, it makes it interesting adds ephasis to our language.
Why do they want to build it where no one lives??
Fine then. You first quote a Republican in their moment of idiocy, but will not actually further the cause. Dysrefudiate is a word. Palin is an embarrasment and I hope she is actually a GOP candidate. She will prove to the world what idiots the GOP is.
Shawn seems to think that my and Sarah’s both being in possession of a uterus should be enough to cause to rise up a defend my fellow woman!
Why can men pick on men and have it not speak against their masculinity while if a woman is critical of another woman she is somehow anti-feminist. Luckily, my breasts do not interfere with my ability to think and I can be critical of another woman because of who she is and what she represents, not because of whether she has fallopian tubes.
It is not her womanhood at issue – it is her ability to divert people from coming up with real solutions to the real problems we face. Who cares what she says – it’s the fact that people listen that I find alarming.
Just when I thought it was safe to look up a word…Sarah Palin in my face again. Who knew she believed in language evolution? Although in her case it’s more like devolution. Ugh.
Just like a hare-brained politician, can’t admit you made a mistake. That’s why there’s so many damn laws. Politicians tend to cover bad legistlation with more legistlation, simply to bury their goof. Palin is just doing the same thing with wordplay.
It proves she’s nuttier than a bag of almonds.
I agree with most of these comments. She’s hiding the fact that she didn’t know the word by making statements that Bush and Obama made. NO–not the same– and it wouldn’t have been a big deal except she lied, acting as if she’s trying for a new word…it shows her lack of character.
FUNNER??? It’s simply not correct grammar. It’s ‘more fun’.
If something is more chewy, you can say that or chewier, but not chewer.
And of course, funnier already has a separate meaning. Let’s not completely destroy our English Language. Thank you.
I believe all of you who are falling into this little game of critique for Ms. Palin have a penchant for seeking out items of questionable note such as one error in an educated woman’s speech because it helps you to overcome feelings of insignificance in the face of those you feel threatened by. There is a chance you may not understand what I am saying due to your own lack of education, so let me simplify it for you. Jesus said whoever is without sin should cast the first stone. Perhaps in your narcissistic minds you believe you are better than everyone else and that you are free to condemn and criticize anyone with a different point of view, so you look for anything you can point at to say ah-ha! Well, I am looking at you now, and I am saying, ah-ha! You have revealed yourself for who you are. Indistinguishable in character and infantile in behavior.
If someone who was a good writer and was careful with his or her words said refudiate, and if a large number of intelligent users of the language took the word up and began using it, I’d then consider that it might be a useful word and perhaps should be added to the language. On the other hand, Sarah Palin is careless with the language and does things for immediate effect, so I think I’ll ignore what was obviously a malapropism on her part.
I am sorry but as a former language translation software executive, I would have to challenge the fact that “refudiate” be entered into any dictionary even if it was on the basis that “refute” and “repudiate” had some form of combined meaning when each word have very similar cause and effect by being able to “prove false” and leading to “a rejection as having no authority” thus providing that improper string.
Thank you for your quote on Neologists. Oh for a politician the caliber of Thomas Jefferson. Neither Palin nor Obama come close.
Laughing my ass off at these pro-Palin comments.
I’m only an immigrant, yet my English is much better than that of the half-human, half-ape Palin.
Really, bitter Republicans? You don’t see that the essay picked on Obama too? Why do you have to eat Palin’s pussy everyday?
I agree with Gabriela: I agree to put that word in as long as we “refudiate” Sarah Palin.
Anything wrong with the word ‘refute’?
I call for a detailed investigation of Gov. Palin’s college diploma. Anyone who defends her persistent self humiliation does not like her. Friends do not let friends drive drunk!
It’s not that she made a mistake it’s that she tries to qualify it by comparing herself to Shakespeare. That’s what makes her a target. She is not an intelligent person. Anyone look up what that means?
In this thread many have asked, ‘Why do we feel impelled to spend so much time and to expend so much energy and outrage over a mere mis-speaking of a word?’ And many of the overt aspects of this event have been herein elaborated upon. Yet a peek beneath the carpet of our collective unconscious may begin reveal more about the nature of this outburst of energy. It may be that we have been tripping over the massive form of an elephant, just out of sight in our collective unconscious, some of the existence and aspects of which are now becoming even more apparent…
Is it possible that a raw, long-throbbing nerve is struck in the collective unconscious of the mass of laboring classes who daily supply the food, housing, welfare, and life resources for non-laboring wealthy ‘elite’ to sit on their fat asses and juggle figures in their corporate and financial “cookbooks”? Is it possible that the elephant is composed of the indignation spontaneously arising in a large percentage of the population who have actually done their work in the educational system—who have actually disciplined themselves to become familiar and proficient with their native language, American English—and who know that the excuses for poor use of the grammar, especially as an adult, e.g., frivolity, ADHD, social popularity, raised with silver spoon in mouth, long-time political fairy tale family line, insufficient I.Q., lack of truth-seeking/philosophical demeanor…actually have corresponding avenues for reparation of these shortcomings in, e.g., sincerity, intelligence, self-respect, study, diligence, focus, discipline, perseverance, self-honesty, humility and willingness to improve upon past error…
The stinking elephant in our unconscius midst may represent all those people in America who have studied and applied themselves to become clearer-thinking and clearer-speaking craftspersons of the English language, and who likewise recognize that the manner by which one uses or mis-uses the language actually is an adequate measure of a person’s grasp of logic. And when any relatively twaddle-brained person such as G. W. Bush, Dan Quayle, or S. Palin publicly and gloriously broadcasts his/her limited intellectual prowess along with a blatantly egotistical self-love and silver-spooned political life-story, it only further highlights the unjust, oppressive, inequitable, top-heavy, obsolete, imbalanced, screwed up, stupid and FUBAR’d character of this contemporary American socio-political economic structure as it is run by the selfish ‘elite’ fat-asses.
But it must be more than that, even—since we acknowledge the plain truth that literally anybody can commit a speaking error in any conversation at any time. Nevertheless we will jump on any of these individuals in a heart-beat. Why? Because we know the much larger problem isn’t merely that they are cerebrally-challenged simpletons logically and linguistically, but because of the holographic axiom ‘how you are with anything reflects how you are with everything.’ In other words, people like these really do weaken the pillars of principle upon which sturdy societal and international relations are built, i.e., principles of character forged in honesty, fairness, equality, compassion, focused intention for service of the common good…principles for which members of the GOP have repeatedly proven themselves unaware, unconcerned, and incapable of grasping.
And when we see that somebody has put these selfish soul-atrophied individuals in positions by which they claim to represent the laboring majority of people of this nation—when instead they merely ride our backs with big ear-to-ear grins—it is simply too angst-inducing, too embarassing, too inappropriate, too damned wrong to take it quietly. Thus concludes my current attempt to explain why such outpouring of response to a matter of apparently minimal importance.
[As I am not an academic, not an English major, nor minor, the above composition undoubtedly reveals my own limits of comprehension in the logic of language, and could benefit from editing! Up to this juncture in my existence I have personally valued more the quest for inner substance over external style, so I beg your tolerance in this regard.]
Its obvious that Sara Palin is a dunce. The saddest thing would be to see her lead America.All the intellectuals of America would have to be banished.
Can’t we just treat this as a mistake. So she misspoke, let’s move on. If we keep adding new words to the dictionary just because someone high-profile….ish made a mistake (clearly she did) then we should be adding words daily.
I have a few add-ons; just this afternoon i stuttered nervously on the phone… should I be calling Oxford and telling them to add syllables on to some of their entries??? I don’t think so.
Come on people! Let’s come back to earth!
It is easy to be critical if one has not stood under the light of public scrutiny. My rule is: Treat everyone with kindness, accept all humans as fallible and pray that you yourself never stand in the light of public scrutiny where vultures descend seeing the smallest of mistakes.
It’s hilarious that her zombie supporters accuse the left of being afraid of Palin’s apparent influence and power. We’re just afraid that our country has gone SO downhill that it’s full of enough retards to actually put such a retard in a position of power to further send the country down the toilet. Eight years of a clearly retarded Bush Jr. was enough, but he actually does seem like Shakespeare when compared to Palin.
NO! I am a Grad student and could never get away with such abuse of the English language; not even as an Undergrad! Furthermore, this is not a neologism as she is professing (though I’m sure she is not familiar with the definition of this word either), nor is this any other “ism”! This is a political and social nostrum for which she is attempting to pass off as intellect!
Did anyone else notice the blog was just poking fun at the twitter error? Not making a political statement. Not calling Sarah Palin a retard (though many people have done that already so I can see why you would jump to conclusions).
P.S.—Please feel free to offer corrections to my errors, as “I would rather appear stupid for a few minutes than BE stupid for the rest of my life.”
As someone who has a master’s degree in English Literature, I would like to say that without context neologisms are meaningless. When Shakespeare coined words, the context (who was speaking, what relevant action happened previously, and who was listenting) was sufficient to explain the meaning. Palin’s issue is that she didn’t give “refudiate” enough context to allow her readers to clarify the meaning. We know she is talking about Americans, a Mosque, 9/11, and some kind of sorrow; given that context, I am assuming that “refudiate” is an appeal for “peaceful muslims” to protest against the building of a Mosque at the 9/11 site because the terrorists happened to be Muslim. If this is the case people are ignoring her blatant prejudices against Muslims and (speaking as someone who is actually from the heartland and not the Alaskan heartland–whereever the fuck that is!) ignoring the fact that she is perpetuating the stereotype that Midwesterners are Christian xenophobes who will not accept people who worship strange gods. Does no one else see this in her?
Since Palin wants to use Shakespeare as a reference point for her obvious blunder, I submit to you that Billy the Bard did make up new words but he also made characters who constantly mispoke to show how ridiculous and simple and unreliable they were. In Hamlet, there is Osric, the pompous knave of Act V who happens to have money; in Much Ado About Nothing the constable Dogberry is a good soul but he misspeaks at such a rate that he drives people away. Perhaps Palin is a good soul but has she exhibited as much goodness as Dogberry the hero who does what is right? I think she is more like Osric and we must all remember that just because Palin has wealth and status does not give her the right to speak at the big kids’ table. To do this effectively one needs intellect and humility (two wondrous Christian values). Had she these, she could speak powerfully with greater reserve, accuracy, and reason. Unfortunately, she currently lacks all this, but now that she no longer has to worry about running Alaska, she can go back to school and get a real degree that will perhaps help her in this regard. For your reading list, Sarah, I might suggest Macbeth, King Lear, Richard II: They are cautionary tales about ambition and poor judgement.
Refudiate should not be included in the dictionary. Why? Because “refuse” has a clear etymology in the Latin re+fusare, “to turn back/away.” “Repudiate” does also; from re+pudium, to kick away, reject. There is no word “fudium” or “fudare.”
But English has such a large number of foreign roots that it’s a rare person who really knows them all; and anyone can make a slip. As just a slip, Palin’s “refudiate” may not be that big a deal, but the fact that she can put something like out there knowing it will read by thousands is an indication to me that she can’t be very well-read.
I forget. Did Obama assure us in “Austrian” that we’d continue to fight “privacy” on the high seas? And was it when he was in Ottawa and said it was great to be in “Iowa”? Or was it when he was in Sunrise, FL and he said it was great to be in “Sunshine”? And how about the time he said in Selma, AL that the famous march across the bridge there inspired his parents to conceive him… FOUR YEARS BEFORE IT HAPPENED? Maybe we should put some “corpse”men on it.
Where were the same eager media on those glaring Obabbles?
WHAT A LOAD OF BALONEY…
dont you just love it when Sarah Palin can get this much of a reaction over a typo? man, what power!
@Amy on July 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm: The word you’re looking for is, ‘epitome.’
What I find laughable is that there are a lot of people on this comment board simply butchering the English language in an attempt to defend someone who, either intentionally or not, used a word that does not exist in the language. By the way, even if Sarah Palin did mean to create a new word, I find it distasteful that she would make any comparison to herself with Wm. Shakespeare. That they’re both human is where it ends.
As someone who is interested in high-level physics (quantum, theoretical,) I attended a symposium at the university in the town where I live. I left after some minutes as the subject matter was well outside my ability to grasp. This was no PBS special with Neil deGrasse Tyson.
So, gentle wielders of the lexicographical ax, if you are not able to use the language in, of all places, a site dedicated to the use of words, leave the symposium to those of us who are.
If it has been said, there is no way taking it back for some reason.
Junk the word
Funny I am looking a my pocket dictionary (merriam-Webster) 1995 and the word refute and refutation are both listed as (prove to be false)
You go Mrs. Palin
Dr. House!!!! thank you SO much for making me “lol”!!!!
Dr. House on July 19, 2010 at 4:16 pm
Palin and the rest of the uneducated, overly conservative middle-America are a disgrace to the United States of America. In liberal thinking we see the revolutionary thoughts of great Americans like Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
you see the revolutionary thoughts of (what you would now call) a libertarian and a republican! too bad you are obviously incapable of understanding them.
middle-america is a disgrace to the United States?! Middle- America IS the United States, moron.
hopefully you’re just trolling the forums, because everyone here is now dumber for having read your post.
(thanks for the giggle, though!)
WARNING: I will disrepulitate anyone who refudiates liberalism. I am suffering from unrecurable exhaustertion listening to all of this bovinical
fecal stuff that is bloviating from their intelligenitals.
A malapropism, OBV! – and NO, no intro to the lexicon ofor her flubbles in the language…. we’d need a whole new book… maybe an Idicon. The standard for Fauxnews.
Sure, why not!
My granddaughter asked me to watch a “watergator” and said that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were put into a “burnace”.
Her words seemed more sensical than those they replaced!
“Since when is everyone who makes an error suddenly “unintelligent”, “stupid”, “illiterate”, and “full of crap”?
Not “everyone.” But the person who happens to be the subject of this thread in fact is all those brilliantly descriptive adjectives and apparently has been from day one.
The difference is that Shakespeare coined new words on purpose. I doubt Sarah Palin had such lofty ambitions in mind when she constructed her tweet.
Can anyone here tell us what ‘refudiate’ means?
i guess you can say whatever you want to but that doesn’t mean its true especially coming from sarah palin. If she is anything like bush we SHOULD be terrified by the level of her stupidity.
I think she meant “repudiate”, which is to reject with disapproval or condemnation. I think three rules should apply to adding a neologism to our lexicon (boy, isn’t THAT statement a mouthful?): 1) Does the word expand into general usage – no matter who said it? 2) Is there an acceptable definition? 3) Does the word’s definition encompass existing definitions of more than one word, thus helping to simplify an otherwise complex and confusing language?
As for building the mosque near ground zero, my biggest question is, what is the PRIMARY motivation for doing so? Could it be that the land is just cheaper there? We so often assume that some unsavory message will be conveyed by a particular action that affects the public at large, when in most cases the real reason is far simpler and more mundane. It may be true that certain Muslims will look upon a mosque built there as a victory for Islam, but it really could be as simple as the land being cheaper. Let’s not assume too much. That’s not to say there aren’t any hurt feelings and anger still over the horrible events of 9/11, but the human condition makes it far too easy to assume the worst in such cases. Yes, perhaps it is in the best interest of those proposing such an edifice to consider how people will take it emotionally, but I think it is the responsibility of those who still suffer the pain of loss and anger and resentment over the events of 9/11 to consider all possibilities. After all, if those who want the mosque pay their property taxes and operate quietly, isn’t that well within their First Amendment rights? Our founding fathers didn’t create our nation to tell certain individuals they have no right to build temples or synagogues churches or cathedrals or mosques wherever they choose, as long as they obey the laws of our society. Sorry, I know the mosque issue is off the subject and really should be for a different forum; I just got carried away.
Looks like she outsmarted all you so called geniuses (haters).
The word was used over 30 years ago and even 23 years ago by far more intellegent people than “dictionary.com”. Hypocrites!!!!!
Face it she’s smarter than you, and you’re all smarter than Obama.
Do your own homework
Google Book Search: refudiate
Report of Joint Commission on Prescription Drug Use: Final report: January 23, 1980
Clinical Research In Communicative Disorders: Principles and Strategies: Mahabalagiri N. Hegde Little, Brown (1987 – Medical – 451 pages)
Google the word “epancipation”
This word was coined by a true scholar.
Before you continue kicking Palin, the Wordsmith, you may want to eat some humble pie if you are a Hillary supporter. I just listened to Sec. Clinton’s interview by Greta VanSusteren tonight (Tues. 7/20/2010) say the word “reFUDIATE!” I have it recorded for my own amusement. I love it! Governor Palin creates a new word and Sec. Clinton falls in line and uses it almost immediately. November is almost here and conservatives are almost giddy with anticipation of cleaning out the spendaholics in Congress.
I’m a Conservative, and I repudiate refudiate.
Here’s one for the dictionary then!
Palin-drone: misguided individual willing to support any clearly unintelligent political big-mouth whether s/he is talking backwards or forwards!
I guess you can say whatever you want but that doesn’t make it right. And YES we should be afraid of someone as amazingly unintelligent as Sarah Palin. Who knows what incredibly stupid things she will continue to do. AS for her speeches. They are enlightening in the sense that I can still tell whether or not i know the english language and trust me the way she uses words i’m pretty sure is not English.
Ha Ha Ha. Don’t want to hear the other side do you?
Ignorance is bliss and you’re in heaven.
You leave all the anti-palin comments but remove those that are for her.
Why? Do you really think she’ stupid? Really?
at least palin has always been proud of the united states unlike mrs obama who was only after her husband ran for office. Also I doubt her pastor of 20 years would yell ‘god damn america’. Guess what she has no ties to the Illinois gov as does obama.
Wach it Mary, pro Palin comments get removed by the mods here. I’ve had about 5 already taken down. It seems dictionary dot com drinks the koolaid too.
found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later
Does dictionary,com define “JournoList”? I can’t find it.
I’m OK with “refudiate” as long as we use it as a way to repudiate those who would claim they are Shakespearian when they just goofed up.
Nothing says “I’m a loser” like using hundreds of exclamation points in a blog comment.
I think you are definatley in Heaven Dan if you believed the War On Terror. And you think that Sarah is a smart person.
Well, Dictionary.com, it’s nice to see that there are some politicians whom you can get away with calling “half-human, half-ape” for three-and-a-half days.
Well Isa we shall see. Have you looked up the word “JournoList”? It may explain how so many were duped by the media into believing Palin is stupid. Do you even care? Do you believe everything you hear / see on TV? Spend some time researching.
You want to see intellectual genius? Look up “epancipation” or “57 states” or “corpseman”, (I have more but you get the idea). Imagine if Palin had said any of those things.
You will either do your homework or remain a sheep who has a vote. Ignorance is curable. Go ahead. You can do it. Really!
Oh, can you say Madame President?
[...] did we miss “REFUDIATE” from one of them there Alaskanite People. — All the “GUN SMOKE swirling we woulda thunk [...]
New Word: ADVERTATION: Advertisment and Solicitation all in one. Coined by me. Why? Because I totally said it first.
Oh God…You people are against this word being added to the dictionary solely because a right-wing person used it. English, as well as all language, is alive. It changes over time, and was much, much different 200 years ago. New words are added, and if they become popular enough, it IMPROVES the language. Evolution, people. I say don’t add it to the dictionary NOW, but if it becomes more popular, then absolutely do!!
I don’t get it. What does she want people to “refudiate”?
Being the sort of person who makes Dictionary.com my homepage, I like it when the dictionary can tell me the most widely accepted (or perhaps correct) definition and usage of a word. However, I enjoy making up words myself and Shakespeare was a literature genius. Sarah Palin is free to make up her own words and to enjoy it! But it may be wise, when publicly speaking, to give the meanings of unique terms.
Well, after reading the comments, it is interesting how this blog, which originally asked for an opinion of Palin’s defense–or the legitimacy of it, in other words–and if her “word” should wind up in the dictionary became an opportunity to attack a person (Palin) or a group of people (Republicans and Democrats). Is this what blogging has become?
It won’t make the dictionary. And in response to Palin’s, did anybody ask her the follow up question, “Who is William Shakespeare?” I bet her response would have had to do with some guy that made fishing rods. Honestly, does anybody believe that she could make a coherent comeback all on her own?
New word! “Palinism.” Any word that a person makes up and uses under the false impression that it’s a real word.
Looking through the posts, I’ve become tired of seeing people trying to use this as an opportunity to say liberals or conservatives are right or wrong. We seem to be grabbing at any chance to slam the opposing side. Are we children at the playground looking for erroneous reasons why we might be correct?
“Oh ya, well my dad can beat up your dad.”
Let’s try to stick to the subject at hand.
I think we can come to a consensus that Palin made a mistake and saying she was trying to coin a new word was likely dishonest. Does this make her an idiot? No. Does it add to an argument that she is an idiot? A little but don’t blow it out of proportion.
Should the word be used? Probably not, the meaning of the word is ambiguous and counteracts the goal of language.
Refudiate is not a word. Therefore, it should not be added to the English dictionary. It seems that the underlying reason for people’s negative reaction to Palin’s use of “refudiate” is that Palin clearly made a mistake when she said it. Yet, instead of humbling admitting to her blunder, Palin covered it up with an explanation that is insulting to people of common sense (regardless of political affiliation).
“Refudiate” sounds sort of like repugnant, my word for Sarah…Pal-in buckets of ignorant words to the public. See what McCain did to the U.S., and possibly the entire world, if she ever got elected?! Argghhhh!
Another few words misspelled and mispronounced, some by the famous: George Bush, who constantly said ‘nuculer’ instead of ‘nuclear’. And it seems no one ever corrected him! Another poorly used word is ‘insure’, when ‘ensure’ should be used in the proper context. And last, but not least, on this matter, how many times have you heard the non-existent word “irregardless”?! Double arggghhhhhhhhhhh!! (how does one really spell that?………hmmmmm)
For goodness sake, since when does having a sense of humor make you ignorant. I believe she was being tongue-in-cheek about a goof. I seriously doubt anyone criticizing Mrs. Palin here or anywhere else has ever made a type-o, slip of the toungue, or, God forbid, ever mispronounced a word. As well as being a public official I suppose candidates and office holders should be walking dictionaries, encyclopedias, and history books. Biden spoke of FDR’s t.v spots, Al Gore’s homes are less energy efficient than George Bush’s (truth), and Sarah Palin doesn’t speak perfect English at all times. They are human beings who’s every word, action, and most frighteninly of all wardrobe choice is scrutinized. Our country’s in serious enough shape where we need to focus on the intent and solution insead of picking apart the individuals trying to fix it, whether we agree with them or not. We should stick to arguments of substance.
Little minds fixate on little mistakes. Sarah Palin’s contribution to the political big picture has not only been — and will continue to be –an immeasurable move towards correction but also a God send. And this comment is from a former NYC bleeding heart liberal who finally woke up and saw the corruption.
S A R A H 2 0 1 2!!!!
Definitely! There are a lot of words created that we don’t have any use for but refudiate is a word that we have use for in the fact that Sarah Palin used it and we shouldn’t let our political views keep us from seeing that.
When you misuse taxpayer money to jetset your children around the country and attempt to introduce a bill that legalizes the hunting of wolves from helicopters with automatic weapons (NO WAY a hail of gunfire reigning from the sky might accidentally kill a hiker), you open yourself up to criticism.
Also, to those complaining about “liberal bias” in the media, what do you have to say for Glenn Beck? The man is consisntently the top-rated “pundit” on television. This ranting lunatic, who began his career snorting cocaine off the dashboard of his car and once made fun of a woman on live radio for having a miscarriage, is the same man a large number of Americans turn to for “news”. Not to mention the entire Rupert Murdoch empire. The right wing actually has an entire channel, one of the most watched channels on television.
I believe the reason many of you percieve a liberal bias may simply be because there is a higher incidence of greedy, closet-homosexual hypocrites in the Republican party.
I think Sarah is probably a nice person, but I do not believe that qualifies her for a position of leadership. On the word “refudiate”, I knew what she meant – she doesn’t want a Mosque to be built. The American population as whole understood what she meant. She’s not an English major and there are a lot of words in the English language. If you stop the average person on the street and ask them if ‘refudiate’ is in the dictionary, prior to Sarah’s usage, and probably even now, they would have to guess. The definition of ‘communication’ does not require correct usage of ‘defined’ words. Sorry gang; it’s just one means of communication.
The blatant ignorance of people who use the dictionary.com blog to bash Sarah Palin, as though she were somehow below their level of intelligence, is breathtaking. And then go off on a rant against all Republicans, as though there is some genetic connection? I think the question concerned the word, not who said it. People think Sarah Palin is Scary?? What is really scary is the multitude of not so smart people who use the anonymity of the internet to pose as intelligent. BTW…..Is it OK to use profanity on this blog? There sure is quite a bit of it. Especially from all those people who are smarter than Sarah Palin.
Sarah Palin is below everyone’s level of intelligence. I’d wager that there is actually a genetic connection among Republicans in the US. They seem to all be equally stupid and slow. Sarah Palin’s (or her daughter’s) mongoloid baby is the first in the next generation of Republicans. Don’t be surprised when after he grows up, he runs for President against someone who has a little more genetic variety, and people take him seriously. He might win and then we’re screwed. And it’s all because people like you decided to stick up for an inbred idiot (and I mean Sarah Palin).
I failed to determine what S.Palin meant – officially.
Was it …
Did she clarify that?
I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but technically Palin’s mistake wasn’t a malapropism. This term is being mis-used in this post and discussion. To qualify as a malapropism it would have to be 1) an actual word AND 2) one with a meaning other than what she intended AND 3) one which sounded like the one whose meaning she intended. If she had said “regurgitate” when she meant “repudiate,” that would be a malapropism, since it’s an actual word.
What Palin said was an inadvertent PORTMANTEAU of two similar-meaning words (refute + repudiate) but not a malapropism, since it isn’t an actual word.
Sandi: “Come on, give Sarah a break. Does every little mistake she may make have to be exploited? Maybe she meant repudiate and it was just a typo. Why doesn’t someone just ask her and not let the entire world think she is ignorant. She actually isn’t ignorant, but that is what people would rather think than give her a break.”
Unfortunately Sandi, she IS ignorant. Rather than admit to a flub and show herself off as human, Sarah decided to INSIST that “Refudiate” is what she meant to say. She also claimed to be able to see Russia from her backdoor.
I apologize. I was just informed that “Refudiate” IS a word.
In the FICTIONARY.
Refudiate ain’t a word! Ain’t ain’t a word.
The one genuine thing about Palin is that we can see truly that she is in politics for her own personal gains unlike all the others that mask it so well with their grandiose intellectualisms which obscure their true nature. Her idocracry makes her believable and illustrates her inability to pull the wool over anyones eyes. However if she was ever elected I would have to defect.
Well, I’ve heard my mother and several of her female friends create similar blends — and if any of you under-educated pity cases talked about them in my presence like you’re anonymously treating Sarah Palin, I’d be on my way to jail for forcefully improving your facial features. You kids should try learning some human respect before you get old enough to ruin this country with your votes.
In reality, I do get the impression it’s a more common phenomenon for females; and with these two letters in particular, P and F, Korean studiers of English consistently remind us of the affinity of their pronunciation. As a native, maybe Sarah Palin’s sin is having learned English too happily: try saying “repudiate” while keeping an intact smile.
Dictionary? No. And get rid of that painful “ginormous”. Descriptivism in dictionaries is an open Pandora’s box — leave it for those totally unreliable user-submitted dictionaries online.
Commander Ketchup…..Thank you for proving my point..You are truly scary. God help us.
From the advent of this country the Presidency has been nothing more than a popularity contest in which she has made a name for herself. The administraion is as good as the cabinet that represents them and usually the President is merely a puppet that will speak on behalf of the nation as a whole. Her major problem is that she does not know what she is talking about in the first place and when you put her up at the podium the question will be “How bad is she going to embarrass us as a country this time.” Wasn’t George W. Bush enough?
There’s a difference between a brilliant person coining a new word purposely and an ignorant person coughing up a word they don’t understand. By comparing herself to Shakespeare she not only proves her ignorance, because she knows she didn’t coin it on purpose, and displays her dishonesty. If she did it on purpose, then how does she define the word? She will never answer that. It’s obvious from the context she meant to say “repudiate”. What’s there to refute?
I like the guy who thought it was Al Gore who misspelled “potato”, not Dan Quayle. But they’re republicans; what need have they for facts?
PEOPLE!!! has anyone else realized that the editors of Dictionary.com simply wanted to address a popular debate about a politician’s word mix-up – since words are their territory – and were not trying to start an insult war? I didn’t get even halfway done with reading the comments before seeing that the people who focus on politics take everything too seriously. Stop blaming Dictionary.com and the opposite side of politics from you and get on with your lives! I’m not even 15 and I’m looking at these comments like listening to my little sisters argue! Yeesh!
Dan Quale was thrown down the tubes for his misappropriation of words and spelling. Why would dealing with Sarah be any different? And some of you would like to see this person in the oval office? Sheesh….give me a break!!! I wonder if she’s reading anything yet.
I just cannot believe the animosity found on this blog. Sadly, if you read blogs, or comments left just about anywhere on the internet, you will find people tangle the English language, either purposely or accidentally, by misspelling or malapropism. The fact that it came from an unpopular politician makes it blog fodder. As to whether it should become part of the dictionary, no, probably not. As to whether it would be such a big deal if Nancy Pelosi tweeted it, no, probably not. Has anyone listened to Nancy speak for any amount of time? If you had, you would notice that she, too, stumbles over her language at times. My point in all this? Left-leaning, and right-leaning alike: STOP THE POLITICAL ANIMOSITY!!! It will destroy our country.
down with twitter and faceboook!
read a newspaper sometimes ya know?