Assistant Managing Editor
Her recent poll numbers suggest a slump
, but Sarah Palin definitely scored two home runs Monday. The debut of her new TV reality
series, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," set a ratings record for TLC Sunday night, and a mash-up word she made famous, "refudiate," was named "word of the year
" by the New Oxford American Dictionary.
The new TV show, which features Palin fishing, watching bears and doing other outdoor activities with her family, delivered 4.96 million viewers Sunday night, the "No. 1 program launch in TLC history . . . besting the 'What Not to Wear' series launch in 2003," according to a TLC news release. Many writers and critics said Palin is hoping to bolster her image
and her chances for a 2012 presidential bid with the TV series, but others said it just showcases Alaska's natural beauty and Palin's insights.
"Sarah Palin's Alaska" runs for seven more weeks.
And in another coup over her critics, Palin's use of the word "refudiate" won the endorsement of a decidedly academic crowd. The New Oxford American Dictionary proclaimed it "Word of the Year."
"From a strictly lexical interpretation of the different contexts in which Palin has used 'refudiate,' we have concluded that neither 'refute' nor 'repudiate' seems consistently precise, and that 'refudiate' more or less stands on its own, suggesting a general sense of 'reject,' " the New Oxford American Dictionary said in a press release.
Palin is not the first politician to use the word, but she set off critics when she tweeted in July that "peaceful Muslims should "refudiate
" a mosque planned near the site of the terrorist attacks in New York City. When bloggers took her to task, she fanned the flames by referencing Shakespeare: "'Refudiate, 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-weed up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare like to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"
The Global Language Monitor Survey, which tracks how frequently English words are used, also included refudiate in its list of 2010's most popular words, along with "spillcam" and "vuvuzela," The Washington Post reported.
Other popular words in the survey:
- "Lady Gaga"
- "3D [movies]"
- "Great recession"
- "Jersey Shore"
- "Chilean coal miners"
- "Tea Party"
- "Anger and rage"