Recently, Sarah Palin said that Muslims should ‘refudiate’ a planned mosque near the World Trade Center site. Hmmmm…the problem is that’s not a real word. So, in her defense, Palin compared herself to William Shakespeare on Twitter when she tweeted: ‘Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Get over it!”
Except she didn’t “coin” a new word, now did she? She just doesn’t (maybe now she does) understand the difference between “refute” (the word she initially changed the mistake to) and “repudiate” (the word she was trying to use in the first place.)
English is a living language. That’s what makes it great. Shakespeare and other writers have coined new words in order to communicate nuances that the existing vocabulary could not. That is not the case here since the word Palin was looking for already existed.
Well, she knew what she meant and probably everyone who either heard her or read the sentence knew what she meant, so isn’t that the point? Well, yes, we know what she meant, just like we used to know what Bush meant and the same way we know what a five-year-old who says “basghetti” means…But Palin has about as much in common with Shakespeare as one of the Jersey Shore morons has with Meryl Streep!
Of course, it’s important to note that the groups behind the project at which her attack was leveled – a building that will house a mosque, gym & community center, among other things—will not be “refudiating” their plans.
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