Refudiate This: Sarah Palin Goes Shakespearean

Jul 19, 2010 12:54pm

ABC News’ Huma Khan reports: Is Sarah Palin following in the footsteps of William Shakespeare? The former Alaska governor took to Twitter this weekend to oppose the construction of an Islamic Center near Ground Zero. In doing so, she coined a new word that’s already made its way to urbandictionary.com. "Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.” The tweet was deleted within hours, and a new post took out any reference to “refudiate” – seemingly a mix of the words refute and repudiate. “Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real,” Palin wrote. Within the hour, she tweeted again: “Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing.” The initial posting, however, didn’t go unnoticed, forcing Palin to offer this clarification: “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee'd up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!” President Bush coined the term “misunderestimate” when he said in 2000 that his opponents “misunderestimated me.” President Obama last year referred to people in Washington getting “all wee-wee’d up,” a term that Press Secretary Robert Gibbs later had to explain: "I think ‘wee-wee’d up’ is when people just get all nervous for no particular reason. … an August pundit pattern.” Whether this was Palin's first use of the term "refudiate" is disputable. Urbandictionary.com points out that the former Alaska governor used it last week on Fox News’ Hannity, when she asked President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama to “refudiate” the NAACP’s claims that the tea party has racist elements. But Fox News’ transcript has Palin saying “repudiate.” — Huma Khan

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