Whatever your feelings about Sarah Palin, you have to admit that she certainly seems to know how to fail upwards. Mock her all you like for using the non-word “refudiate,” but she’s having the last laugh as it now becomes the New Oxford American Dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year.” Nick Bilton reports in his Bits blog for the New York Times:
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At the start of the year the word “refudiate” didn’t exist. In mid-July Sarah Palin, Alaska’s former governor, changed that when she used the word in a Twitter message, somehow mashing up “refute” and “repudiate,” while trying to say something like “reject.”
Now refudiate has been named the word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary, published by the Oxford University Press, beating out a number of other locutions — many technology-related — that have spread through the language and the Web over the past year.