Opinion » Bill Cope

Palingua Fracta

All hail the Bardette of Wasilla!


I feel absolutely unimpedicized. Thank you, thank you, Sarah. You have set my creaticator free!

As regular readers know, under normal circumstances I pay Sarah Palin very few compliments, particularly over that stuff that comes out of her mouth. (I have coined a name for Sarah's oral peculiarities. Let us hereafter call them "wordumbs," and feel free to apply the term liberally to anything Michele Bachmann or other members of the Republican intellectual elite might say.) But fully two years after she burst into our collective horror like the noisy woman Uncle Elmer brought back from Las Vegas that time, she has finally said something that wasn't such an insane lie that only another tea bagger could believe it. She said William Shakespeare made up words.

Verily, forsooth! Totally true! Without Shakespeare, it is unlikely we would today have the words, "verily," "forsooth," "petard," "pooryorick," "yonder," "methinks," "shrew" or "damspot!"

However, one word Shakespeare never got around to making up is "refudiate." For that fine four-syllable construction, we must credit Sarah, who once again demonstrated that in these modern times, one doesn't need much in the way of an education to get attention. As I understand it, she was being interviewed by one of her fellow laughing stocks ("Cheeks" Hannity), filling the nation's air waves with the sort of babblobytes that makes her so quotable, and she insisted that President Barack Obama should refudiate the NAACP for calling the Tea Party people racist.

Need I say, there was no end to the ridicule she drew to herself by inserting a nonexistent word into her nonexistent argument. There are those on the left who have few other interests in life other than to wait patiently for people like Sarah Palin to prove what they have been saying all along. And of course, Sarah never lets us down. Almost from the moment she flounced out of Alaska like a cheerleader who'd found a better party to show up at, she has been mouthing unforgettable loopidillies about what she can see from her front porch and death panels for the AARP crowd.

But let us be fair. A minor slip of the tongue doesn't belong on the same crazishitlist as death panels, does it? I was perfectly willing to accept that she had simply blended the words "repudiate" and "refute" in her mind like a berry/banana smoothie, but Madam Sarah decided to dig in her stilettos. In her response to the ridicule, she made it sound like she had actually, intentionally, consciously invented the word. That she had meant to say it all along. This gutsy ruse served two purposes: 1) it spared her the embarrassment of having to say, "oopsy," and 2) it implied that somewhere under all that hair, there is a mind capable of spontaneous activity.

Some of the more vicious wags piled on even more scorn when she invoked the memory of Mr. Shakespeare as vindication for her vocabirthing, but I say "Right you are, Sister!" In a truly free society, Shakespeare mustn't be the only one entitled to come up with new words. Sarah can fabricate all the words she can fit in her borrowed pockets—even if she's lying about doing it intentionally—and so can I. I have already slipped into this piece a few of my verbabies—vocabirthing, loopidillies, unimpedicized, babblobytes—but I have more. Following are some brand new words, still slimy with amniotic brain fluid, that I hope will enter our common lexicon.

Toddomating: The process by which the male—or "toddomaton"—in a publicly prominent relationship recedes into the background scenery so thoroughly, he needs a permanent name tag to remind people who he is. Possible use in context: "Worst case of toddomating I've ever seen. What happened to poor old Prince Philip? Is he even still alive?"

Bristoled out: What might become of underage offspring whose mother is too involved with herself to pay proper attention to whatever shenanigans a teenager is up to. It could apply to all sorts of circumstances, from getting unexpectedly preggers to getting unexpectedly engaged. Possible use in context: "That kid o' mine, jeez! She's so bristoled out, I don't know what's coming next."

Winkiation: A purely physical, primal approach to basic communication resorted to whenever one's grasp of reality is so shallow that you cannot rely on real words and concepts for coherency. Winkiation is of particular use to anyone who is asked uncomfortable questions they don't know the answers to, and at the exact moment all of her advisers have stepped outside for a smoke. Possible use in context: "Before her, the last person to practice that much winkiation was Shirley Temple."

Idioquitter: One who takes on duties and responsibilities only to abandon them soon after because she holds the juvenile conviction that every phase in her life is merely a stepping stone on a journey that will ultimately take her to a higher, more prominent stage where she deserves to be, no matter her lack of authentic accomplishment. Possible use in context: "That Lindsey Lohan is such an idioquitter. The judge ought to sentence her to a good long interview with Katie Couric. That'd straighten her out."

Fauxfish: The kind of fish you catch when you pretend you're fishing to impress onlookers with your down-hominess--your "joe6packitude," as it were. Possible use in context: "There's something damn fauxfishy about that fundraising PAC of hers, don't you think?"

Look for more of my expressigems in coming opiniocols.