Sorry, Gleeks: Word to Describe You Loses Out to Sarah Palin Flub as ‘Word of the Year’

Nov 16, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Sarah Palin’s tweet that included a word that previously did not exist has beat out the term "gleeks" and other words to become the New Oxford American Dictionary’s 2010 ‘word of the year,’ according to The New York Times’ Bits blog.

The word Palin made up is refudiate.

Here’s Palin’s tweet: "Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate."

According to the Times story, Palin was  "somehow mashing up ‘refute’ and ‘repudiate,’ while trying to say something like ‘reject.’ "

The story says "Ammon Shea, an author and dictionary expert who was involved in this year’s voting process, said nominations for the award are based on a number of criteria, including the amount of attention the word has received over the previous year and whether its usage has grown."

Besides gleek, other words considered were retweet, webisode (that’s old by now), and "nom nom." According to the article, "nom nom" is an "an expression of delight when eating. [origin — imitative; popularized by the noises made by the character Cookie Monster on Sesame Street (usually as ‘Om nom nom nom’)]"

[NOTE: For reasons we can’t fathom, a mistake that TVWeek makes far too often—using the word "it’s" when we mean to say "its," and vice-versa–once again didn’t even make it into the finals. Its made us rehink this whole notion of a "word of the year," and, in fact, we’re seriously thinking of refudiating it.]  


  1. Ha, ha, laugh at Sarah Palin. (Liberals will always tell you whom they are afraid of, my paying attention to whom they most criticize.)

  2. Again, the misuse of the possessive.
    “It’s” is a normal possessive, while “its” is not a legimate word at all. Unless you are saying there is such a thing as an ‘it;’ in which case I suppose you could have a plural (without the apostrophe)
    Remember, the apostrophe usually indicates aither possession, OR an elided letter. (Now, look that up)

  3. Sorry Red,
    Look at your dictionary again. “It’s” is a contraction, not a possessive. “Its” is indeed the possessive.

  4. Right, Mad! Way to call Red the Blowhard on his gaffe!

  5. I stand corrected. Darn, this is the second mistake I have made. I can’t remember the other one.

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