Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Come To Think Of It ... Sarah Palin IS Kind of Shakespearean

A few days ago Sarah Palin caused a quite stir in a couple of ways. One, she came out hard against the Cordoba House, the proposed mosque that radical Islamists want build at Ground Zero in New York City, which you can read about here.

Sarah also created a stir when she asked the peaceful Muslims world wide to "refudiate" this mosque, thus creating a new word. Most people thought little of it, as they knew what she was talking about. Many of us figured she had simply combined a couple of words to create a cool new one. After all, Sarah is very good at coining phrases that become part of the lexicon, see "death panels," and "Mama Grizzlies" so why not words too. Intelligent people are able to do this a lot.

Anyhow, as usual, the left lost it’s collective mind! "Refudiate" was one of the top searches on Google!!

It’s funny, the left never blinked when Obama talked about visiting "57 states" or talked about "Navy Corpse-men" (over and over and over) or any of the other silly things we chronicled here.

Anyhow, we all know Sarah Palin. She’s got a good sense of humor, and absolutely never backs down when these nimrods start in. Nope, she pulled out her trusty BOTUS (Blackberry of the United States) and tweeted:

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

The left was livid! Talk about cheap entertainment. Watching them get all wee-wee’ed up was just precious.

With that said, David Hirschman over at Big Think wonders if Sarah isn’t on to something:

Will Palin's "Refudiate" Last as Long As Shakespeare's "Champion?"

In a series of tweets Sunday, Sarah Palin first "invented" the word "refudiate" (while, perhaps, trying to come up with "repudiate"), and then defended her word choice in another tweet suggesting a certain similarity between herself and a certain Bard of Avon: "'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"

"Misunderestimate," of course, was an invention of President George W. Bush, while "wee-wee'd up" belongs to President Obama. But Palin's suggestion that English is a living, evolving language is pretty salient.

Words get created all the time, and once such a word is created, it sometimes enters common usage—and the AP stylebook—forever. After all, a good many of the more than 3000 words that Shakespeare invented are now used frequently by all of us. Some of the more common ones include: "addiction," "advertising," "blanket," "champion," "elbow," "excitement," "fashionable," "gossip," "impede," "lackluster," "outbreak," "submerge," "summit," "torture" and "worthless."

So will "refudiate" hold up over the next, say, 400 years? Big Think asked Dr. Allan Metcalf, a professor at MacMurray College and executive secretary of the American Dialect Society, what causes a word to be adopted into the lexicon.

"What makes a word stick is its naturalness, its unobtrusiveness," said Metcalf. "Consciously invented words, especially clever ones, are treated as jokes, and perhaps appreciated as such but not used by others." Metcalf said that if a word is "a deliberate conspicuous coinage," it will likely sink out of sight. But, on the other hand, "if it was a slip of the tongue, it's a natural blend of two established words and might just stick. I bet she's not the first to use it."

Just to set the record straight, "wee-we’ed up" is not a word Obama invented, though he did seemingly redefine it. In fact it’s seventies drug slang for acting silly or dopey after smoking too much marijuana, i.e., smoking too much "weed," and ending up "acting stupidly." (another phrase Obama has popularized)

One of my favorite words left out of all of this is "strategery." This was coined by actor Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live, while he was doing an impression of President George W Bush. It’s become a part of our language, and I promise you I use the word every single day of my life!

More and more, I am convinced Sarah Palin is an absolute genius. I have no idea if she accidently hit the "F" key rather than the "P" or actually meant to coin a new word. Either way, while the left was going crazy over that, and her follow up tweet, they were also exposing people to the serious issue of the Ground Zero mosque, and all of the pain it’s causing. Many of these people had never even heard of the issue before. Either way, she played the media like a Stradivarius, as usual.

The meme on the left is Sarah is "crazy." Yeah, crazy like an Arctic Fox!

BTW, just who thought up the word "tweet"?

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