"Refudiate" This!


The Story

Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and U.S. vice presidential nominee, creates a new word. A blend of refute and repudiate, "refudiate" seems to fit the bill.  After making headline news, here's her response in a tweet.

July 21 - Sarah Palin Tweet

Discussion Starters

  • Sarah Palin's gaffe has caused quite a stir in the media.  Is this fair?  Sure, she may run for U.S. President in 2012, but we all make mistakes, right?
  • Sarah Palin's first response to the media attention was to remove her tweet.  Then, she posted her short explanation.  Was this the best approach for her?  Why or why not?
  • What's the danger of using malapropisms?  Do you see a downside?
  • Why does language evolve?  What are other examples of recent additions to the English language?  Could "refudiate" be the latest addition?  Why or why not?

Assignment Ideas

  • Advise Sarah Palin on a better editing process for Twitter.  Write an email with your recommendations using guidelines from Chapter 5 and your own thinking about Twitter.
  • Debate with a partner Sarah Palin's use of "Got to" instead of "Gotta" in her tweet.  Have one of you argue that "Got to" is more appropriate and the other support "Gotta."  Which is the better argument?