Sarah Palin, the Bard of Wasilla
Washington’s Emma Ashburn had some thoughts today on Sarah Palin’s latest literary stylings:
Sarah Palin: former Alaska governor, ex-vice presidential candidate, bard.
The media-savvy Republican introduced a new term over the weekend, using the word “refudiate” on her Twitter feed at SarahPalinUSA when she opined on plans to build a mosque at the site of the 9/11 attacks in Manhattan. Later, she suggested she wasn’t doing anything William Shakespeare hadn’t done.
Her first tweet on Sunday read:
* Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate
She changed it within hours to:
* Peaceful New Yorkers, please refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real
Later Sunday she took ownership of the slip-up, which she had also made a week earlier on Fox News.
* “Refudiate,” “misunderestimate,” “wee-wee’d up.” English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!
A search for #shakespalin yields a raft of imitations on Twitter, some of the best riffing on “Hamlet” and “Richard III.”
* How’s all that bein’ and not bein’ workin’ out for ya?
* To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous liberals, or to quit halfterm, and by opposing, rake in speaking fees.
* A moose, a moose! My governorship for a moose!
Shakespeare didn’t go to Cambridge or Oxford. He wrote for the theater-going masses in Elizabethan England. He made up the verb “puke,” the noun “eyeball,” and the adjective “zany.”
Palin’s creations may not last as long as those by the bard of Stratford-upon-Avon.
Refudiate is somewhere in the no man’s land between neologism and malapropism. Arguably her greater contribution to the English language will be her new feminist terms: hockey mom, mama grizzlies. And don’t forget her famous line on the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom — lipstick.
Photo credit: Reuters/Chris Keane (Sarah Palin speaks at National Rifle Association’s 139th annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina May 14, 2010.)
Reuters/Luke MacGregor (Chairman of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stanley Wells, poses with a newly discovered portrait of William Shakespeare at Dartmouth house in London March 9, 2009)