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Sarah Palin’s Twitter Gaffe Makes The Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year

Mama grizzly Sarah Palin has made the news again, and this time she’s getting some positive accolades as a wordsmith, of sorts. A mis-typed word on her Twitter account this past summer has made its way into the Oxford American Dictionary as the Word of the Year. Read on for what Palin-creation will be enshrined in the dictionary, and the other tech-inspired words it joins.

Last July, Palin wrote the following Tweet about the Ground Zero Mosque plans:

And now “refudiate” – ostensibly a word that combines refute and repudiate – will take top honors in the Oxford American Dictionary as the Word of the Year.

According to the announcement on the Oxford University Press Blog, the official definition of refudiate is: a verb, used loosely to mean “reject”: she called on them to refudiate the proposal to build a mosque. [origin — blend of refute and repudiate]

However, there are no plans to actually include the word refudiate in the Oxford American Dictionary, unless it gains significant momentum in popular speech.

Palin isn’t the first political celebrity to make a misstep in her communications – don’t misunderestimate Bush in this arena – but she might just be the first to do it on Twitter and then have that misstep enshrined in the Oxford Dictionary.

Last year, another tech-inspired word made it to the Word of the Year: Facebook-inspired “un-friend”. And this word did get the honor of becoming an official entry into the dictionary, as more people added it to their everyday speech. Other tech and social media-inspired words that made the Word of the Year shortlist this year include “crowdsourcing”, “retweet”, “nom nom” and “webisode”.

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