All of this going down with Sarah Palin and the refudiate comment is really interesting. It’s as if her ridiculous language use has finally reached critical mass. The recent tweet that was supposed to laugh off her use of “refudiate” has elevated the story even more. Ironically, she compares herself to Shakespeare, which was something that I did recently when asked to write a humorous hypothetical op-ed. I typically don’t do humor well because I am very cynical and insensitive, but I figured since the story has become so popular, I would post it:
Sarah Palin might just be the greatest linguist of our time.
No, I’m serious.
Perhaps no one has a greater command of language than the great matron of mavericks herself. The only problem is that no one actually knows what language she is speaking. It’s one they simply don’t teach at most peoples’ Godless, liberal bra-burning college or university.
In a recent appearance on Fox News, Mrs. Palin led another linguistic assault against English by calling on the Obama administration to “refudiate” the claim by the NAACP that the Tea Party is racist. It would seem that the etymology of this particular Palinism derives from the English words “refute,” meaning to prove wrong, and “repudiate,” meaning to reject association with.
Such terms demonstrate the absolute genius of Palin as the paragon of Conservative intellectualism. It’s not enough to distance oneself from the NAACP’s argument; Obama should also actively prove it wrong. And hell, let’s save interview time, saying both simultaneously using a rhetorical bastard of actual words. Why let Bristol have all the fun?
Palin has gone rogue with English. It’s bold and it’s fresh. She understands that English is a liberal art. And we all know liberal is just a synonym for dark and evil. Her boldness and heroism encapsulated by her war against the dark arts is absolutely inspired.
And she’s winning. She may be outranked only by Shakespeare in her command for invention of new terms and usages. Who can say the Republican Party doesn’t have any new ideas? Aren’t words ideas? And Conservatives love Sarah Palin, so it stands to reason that traditional English is hardly a traditional value.
The Palin jabberwocky is all about syntax too. It doesn’t stop with diction. Here’s part of the prolific Palin legal analysis of Roe v. Wade:
“Well, let’s see. There’s ― of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there’s never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ―”
Pretty dense stuff, right? Still flies right over my head, much like an Alaskan eagle, or maybe some other mavericky bird from the lower arctic.
It’s in this way that Ronald Reagan can’t hold a candle to Palin’s genius. Don’t get me wrong, the man was a great communicator. But he was ultimately constrained by that “gotcha” version of English that you so often hear standardized and employed by the “MSM” – mainstream media that is, for those neo-English neophytes. To be fair, I used to wonder why Palin was so against methyl sulfonyl methane, which can apparently help with osteoarthritis, snoring and sundry other conditions. It’s hard to keep up with pure genius. Why pronounce five onerous syllables when you can say the acronym in three?
And once you understand the profundity of Palin’s transcendence of those pesky rules of language the rest of us have to abide by, you begin to understand why she shies away from traditional news outlets. Facebook and Twitter are far better mediums to express her new…expressions. Orwell’s newspeak was a tool of oppression. Palin’s is liberating – vindicating blue collar populist Americanism left and right (ok, maybe just right).
Far better, I say, to assault those liberal bastions of proper language with tweets like “Lamestream media: I never compared Obama to Hitler. Quit making things up.” Using made-up terms to accuse the media of making up facts – what irony! What genius!
Liberals today are surely jealous. For years they have been trying to deconstruct and reconstruct language to break down all kinds of embedded discriminatory biases. And then came Palin and blew language all to hell from her proverbial helicopter with her proverbial assault rifle.
And that’s the greatest irony of them all: left-wing radicals could stand to learn much from Sarah Palin, if only they would stop presiding over death panels and take the time to study her staggering brilliance.