Sarah Palin inspires Shakespeare Twitter meme

By first tweeting the word "refudiate" and then comparing herself to Shakespeare, the former governor of Alaska inspires a vibrant and literary #ShakesPalin Twitter meme.

There are those who believe that Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

However, I believe that she has unquestionably been misunderestimated. It seems clear that she is far more in demand, far more influential, and certainly far wealthier than the majority of her critics.

In order to show just how great an impact her every word can have on society, Palin has inspired a new, vibrant meme on Twitter, one that allows those who were lazy and complacent in high school to finally exercise the relics of their inner literary bent.

#ShakesPalin was spawned by a perfectly spontaneous tweet from Palin concerning the possibility of a mosque being constructed near Ground Zero. She initially tweeted that peaceful Muslims should "refudiate" such an idea.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Now, of course there's no such word as "refudiate." But you know exactly what she's getting at: the repudiation of a refusenik. Or of a refuse collector. She was clearly reaching for an expression of strong negative emotion.

People create new words all the time. My favorite recent word, created by someone of very high literary skills, was the word "vomination"--the idea, it seemed, of vomiting with abomination. This is art in action. This is the true genius of humanity being played live on vast universal stages such as Twitter.

As for her own tweet, Palin quickly removed it and added an explanatory message: "'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"

One has to agree. Well, save for the word "wee-wee'd up" being in any way palatable. However, perhaps it's never wise for a politician to cozy up too closely to an English playwright. They do tend to be unreliable dilettantes. Surely you have seen "Shakespeare in Love."

In this case, Palin's tweet has caused the bored hordes on Twitter to offer their own Shakespearisms a la Palin. These have engendered some verbal felicity along with some rather more painful attempts at Bardstardization. Josiah Bartlet, for example, offered a tack followed by others: "Brevity is the soul of my term as governor."

Some have been moved by the grace offered by a tweeter called Julian Sanchez: "To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous liberals, or to quit halfterm, and by opposing, rake in speaking fees."

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Many might find fondness for the words of Charley Beans: "But soft, what light from yonder window breaks? It is the East, and I can see Russia from my front porch."

And some might enjoy the pathos suggested by Matt Cox: "As he was maverick, I joined his ticket. But as he was ambitious, I slew his chances."

However, this meme seems remarkably lopsided. It would surely be more heartening if supporters of Palin could offer their own Shakespearisms in order to bring a fairer balance to this interesting, if temporary, phenomenon.

The meme, people. The meme.

 

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