Cacoeidechthineologism* of the Day

In the news: the word "refudiate", coined (or perhaps "misstruck" is the appropriate word) by Sarah Palin in a Twitter post, has been chosen as the new "word of the year" to be included in the latest edition of the New Oxford American Dictionary.

Divorced from its source, the word refudiate isn't all the worst neologism ever. But it's not all that good, either. It's a pretty simple and obvious cojoining of two words into one, but doesn't really add any new nuance or meaning to the original words. If someone coined it deliberately, I'd give them a C- grade.

The question is whether this was a neologism -- the coining of a new word -- by Sarah Palin (whose rhetorical skills are, shall we say in the politest of tones, rudimentary), or simply a malapropism -- a garbling of either "refute" or "repudiate". If the latter, should points be taken off and the grade lowered?

(Data point: When it was pointed out that "refudiate" was a non-existent word, Palin revised her Twitter post to replace "refudiate" with "refute"... which was an inaccurate use of that word.)

In any event, when there are so many more creative and useful neologisms around, I find the OAD choosing "refudiate" above other, better, words to be utterly indenstible.

*"cacoeidechthineologism" comes from here

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