So I go on vacation for three whole days, and the Shakesphere asplodes when Sarah Palin compares herelf to Shakespeare. Wonderful.
Specifically, for those that haven’t seen it (or don’t care as much), she made a post using the interesting word “refudiate”. When people pointed out that this was probably not the word she meant, as it was not actually a word, she a) changed the original Twitter message to read “refute”, and b) said that Shakespeare liked to coin words, too.
Three thoughts. We’ve brushed against political topics here in the past without much ado, but I get the feeling that these days you pick the wrong target and everybody goes absolutely batshite nutty.
First, in defense of Mr. Shakespeare (as if he needs it), the man deliberately constructed new words for the purposes of his poetry, not because he simply didn’t know the right word.
Second, either defend your apparently deliberate coinage of a new word, or change the word to something else, but how can you do both? If it was the word you meant, why did you change it? If you legitimately made a mistake to be corrected, why try to cover it up? Plenty of politicians, past and present, Republican and Democrat alike, have misspoken and made up words. That’s not the thing that bothers people, it’s the refusal to acknowledge it as an honest mistake.
Third, “refute” (“Peaceful New Yorkers, please refute the Ground Zero mosque plan …”) is still not the correct word to use, since it means “prove to be false or erroneous.” She may want you to prove that it’s a bad idea, but that’s not the same thing as proving that there is no such plan. She may have meant “repudiate”, which means something more akin to “refuse to acknowledge, or to disown.” That’s my guess. I think the refute thing is the red herring, and that she just misspoke repudiate. No biggie.
Then again this all happened on Twitter, so perhaps the real problem is that she really did mean both words, and just ran out of characters?
Ok, I’m going back to vacation. Flame away, I’ll be on the beach.