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Palin-gish

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, July 19 2010

Sarah Palin is embracing the neologism she created when she blended "refute" and "repudiate" in a tweet asking "peaceful Muslims" to "pls refudiate" a proposed Muslim community center and mosque close to the former World Trade Center site.

Palin deleted the tweet, but later followed up with a post in praise of her linguistic creativity, putting it in context alongside presidential demonstrations of invented language:

"Refudiate," "misunderestimate," "wee-wee'd up." English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!

It's worth keeping in mind that slips like refudiate are ones that a tired politician might well make on occasion. But, in the old days, ones that a press secretary would catch if it were in "print," like in a press release or written statement.

"Misunderestimate" is, of course, a George W. Bush special. And"wee-wee'd up" is, as President Obama has taught us, something along the lines of getting all worked up.