Palin-tweeted 'refudiate' makes word-of-year lists

November 15, 2010 

"Refudiate," Sarah Palin's widely ridiculed mashup of "repudiate" and "refute" -- though she was far from the first to use the word -- has been named 2010 Word of the Year by the staff of the New Oxford American Dictionary.

From a strictly lexical interpretation of the different contexts in which Palin has used "refudiate," we have concluded that neither "refute" nor "repudiate" seems consistently precise, and that "refudiate" more or less stands on its own, suggesting a general sense of "reject."

And the Texas-based Global Language Monitor survey put "refudiate" in its list of the Top 10 Words of 2010. Palin doubled down on "refudiate" with her defense -- delivered via Twitter -- that she was following in Shakespeare's footsteps by coining new words. That set off another round of public howling.

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