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Palindromes

I say, old chap. Did you hear that awfully silly woman, Sarah Palin, sending the English language to the cleaners? No, Chatterjee-saab. What was it about?

india Updated: Jul 21, 2010 23:15 IST
Hindustan Times

I say, old chap. Did you hear that awfully silly woman, Sarah Palin, sending the English language to the cleaners?

No, Chatterjee-saab. What was it about?

On her micro-weblog site that goes by the name Twitter, Ms Palin told people to ‘refudiate’ a proposal to build a mosque at the World Trade Center site.

Um, so? She has a right to have an opinion.

Oh, Mr Bhosle! There is no such word as ‘refudiate’! She mixed the words ‘refute’ and ‘repudiate’ to come up with a totally nonsense word!

Well, I’m sure people understood what she meant — oppose. That’s all that matters.

By Jove! Don’t tell me you didn’t howl when George W. Bush used that horrible malapropism, ‘misunderestimate’?

Chatterjee-saab. What do you think of the word ‘lonely’? Do you think it’s acceptable in the English language?

Well, of course, silly man. Lonely is a perfectly legitimate word in the English language.

Well, it wasn’t till Shakespeare first used it as an adjective for ‘alone’. As for Bush’s ‘misunderestimate’, it’s something that the English metaphysical poets would have loved to use. Like Donald Rumsfeld’s delightfully poetic ‘unknown unknowns’ that’s straight out of John Donne.

Do say: I’ve just preponed my trip towards the dictionary.

Don’t say: Sarah’s such a fantoosh!

First Published: Jul 21, 2010 23:14 IST