Sarah Palin committed a bush in a recent Twitter battle cry to New Yorkers calling them to “refudiate” plans to build a mosque close to the 9/11 site.
“Refudiate” is, of course, not a real word in the same that “normalcy” was not a real word until President Warren G. Harding coined it a hundred years ago – give or take.
The offense against the American version of the English language was quickly seized upon by those who (quite rightly) fear Palin and held it up as proof of her already rather obvious lack of dexterity with a language we can only assume she’s been speaking since toddlerhood.
Although malapropisms out of the mouths of political leaders actual and wanna be are disheartening, out of the mouth of Palin, it’s not worth a footnote much less a bloggy storm.
“Shakespeare liked to coin words too.” she twittered back at the elitist blogosphere.
All that glitters is not gold. As (good) luck would have it. Household words. Cold comfort. In a pickle. Devil incarnate. Eaten me out of house and home. For goodness sake. Give the devil his due. Heart of gold. Laughing stock. It was Greek to me. Naked truth. Wild goose chase.
What amazes me and seems to have sailed past everyone’s offended ears is that Sarah Palin knows that Shakespeare coined words and phrases that previously didn’t exist in the English language.
And I will concede that it’s very possible that her little Twuip was as ghostwritten as her book, but it was clever, and it’s past time her critics realized that she cannot be mocked and jeered away.
First, because Palin doesn’t blush unless it will serve a greater purpose.
Second, she has a gift for turning faux pas into the “aw shucks, I’m just folk like you ordinary people”. She spins her legend from the ridicule and frustrated rants of the left and the few on the right who see the damage she is doing to their politics – such as they are.
Refudiate? I think ole Will could have done better. The things that man could have done with a Twitter stream should leaving us weeping over the drivel that reigns as literary there now.
It’s not the worst thing she’s uttered in any medium, but it’s important to remember that she can’t be taken down by trivial nit-picking. She feeds on that like Nosferatu on village virgins.
Substance, people. She doesn’t have any. Criticism of her should.