Sarah Palin's reality show
Sarah Palin's reality show scored huge ratings for its premiere Sunday night, while the
guardians of usage at the New Oxford American Dictionary awarded the former Alaska
governor the higher-brow distinction of coining 2010's "word of the year"
Roughly 4.96 million people tuned in to watch the first episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska."
That's the biggest premiere in the channel's history.
And as if the ratings triumph weren't enough, today the New Oxford American
Dictionary declared "refudiate" the top word in 2010 — a verb that Palin apparently
The former governor last summer, calling on "peaceful Muslims" to "refudiate" a planned
mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks in New York. When critics pounced on the made-
up verb, Palin deleted the Tweet and replaced it with one that called on Muslims to
"refute" the site — even though that usage made no sense, either, since to refute is to
prove something to be untrue.
But in a release today, they defended Palin's use of the word. "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,' " the
And lest you think the New Oxford editors were only hailing "refudiate" as a publicity
stunt, let the record show that Palin's coinage was also named to— together with terms
such as "spillcam" and "vuvuzela."