The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0322  Wednesday, 28 July 2010

From:         John F. Andrews <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 26, 2010 2:21:58 PM EDT
Subject:      FYI: ShakesPalin 

Washington Post: Sunday, July 25, 2010

I come not to bury Sarah Palin but to praise her ["To refudiate or not to 
refudiate . . .," Politics Digest, July 20]. She's absolutely right about 
Shakespeare's linguistic creativity, and I suspect that the playwright would 
have delighted in "refudiate." That's not because it enriches our language with 
a new word that communicates something that can be conveyed in no other way, but 
because it's the sort of naive malapropism he puts into the mouths of some of 
his characters, among them such inspired and irrepressible bumpkins as Bottom 
the Weaver in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Dogberry the Master Constable in 
"Much Ado About Nothing."

To borrow a line from the title character in "King Lear," then, I say "let 
copulation thrive." Fusing "refute" with "repudiate" may result in bastard 
currency, but as a means to certify a failed governor for the kind of position 
that would make her appear less "o'er-parted" (to quote Costard from "Love's 
Labor's Lost"), it's what Shakespeare's most endearing Keystone Kop would call 
"the eftest way."

John F. Andrews, Santa Fe, N.M.

The writer is president of the Shakespeare Guild.


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