Refudiate Word of the Year

Sarah Palin’s linguistic skills have been given the highest honour as the New Oxford American Dictionary has picked her made-up refudiate as the 2010 Word of the Year.

Palin first used the word when she was tweeting about a mosque being built at Ground Zero. Pushing the 140 character count and the bounds of the sensibility, Palin tweeted “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.” As people struggled to work out if Palin was asking peaceful Muslims to refute, repudiate or redress, the word became the most searched for in the Meriam Webster online dictionary, according to the Huffington Post. It’s been given the definition “used loosely to mean ‘reject’”.

Galleycat reports that it beat out some fairly dull competition in words including crowdsourcing and retweet. The OUP blog lists other more interesting contenders including nom nom (“exclamation an expression of delight when eating”) and the re-interpretation of the Seinfeld classic double-dip (now meaning “double-dip adjective denoting or relating to a recession during which a period of economic decline is followed by a brief period of growth, followed by a further period of decline”).

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