A bard by any other name would not be a Palin

Austin American-Statesman - - OPINION -

Sarah Palin has com­pared her­self (via Twit­ter) with Wil­liam Shake­speare, claim- ing she, like he, sits around idly coin­ing new words. Shake­speare didn’t sit around doo­dling on a pub nap­kin for the pur­pose of cre­at­ing new words for no con­ceiv­able rea­son.

But, Palin’s coinage — re­fu­di­ate — is a forced com­pound of “re­pu­di­ate” and “re­fute,” which in her oral TV con­tex­tual use are mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive and null each other out. That makes Palin’s coinage — like Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush’s “mis­un­der­es­ti­mate” — a mal­a­prop­ism and an ex­am­ple of in­com­pe­tent use of the English lan­guage.

The prob­lem with Palin and her fel­low tea party afi­ciona­dos is that they joy­ously wal­low in their ig­no­rance. They are mem­bers of a non-lit­er­ate oral so­ci­ety, not a lit­er­ate writ­ten so­ci­ety.

Twit­ter is not writ­ing. Palin is not a leader. She is a celebrity, more akin to Paris Hil­ton and Lind­say Lo­han or even Phyl­lis Diller — but with no tal­ent what­so­ever.

Thom Pren­tice


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