Brainy Quote of the Day

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Refute + Repudiate = Refudiate

Governor Palin compared herself to The Bard William Shakespeare. (She said her new word twice on the news. I recall the creation of new words in the 80s as a "sniglet.")

I know this is usually a blog for physics, but I could not resist going to Meridian Webster Online and looking up the two words "refute" and "repudiate":

Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): re•fut•ed; re•fut•ing
Etymology: Latin refutare to check, suppress, refute
Date: 1545
1 : to prove wrong by argument or evidence : show to be false or erroneous
2 : to deny the truth or accuracy of

Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): re•pu•di•at•ed; re•pu•di•at•ing
Etymology: Latin repudiatus, past participle of repudiare, from repudium rejection of a prospective spouse, divorce, probably from re- + pudēre to shame
Date: 1545
1 : to divorce or separate formally from (a woman)
2 : to refuse to have anything to do with : disown
3 a : to refuse to accept; especially : to reject as unauthorized or as having no binding force b : to reject as untrue or unjust
4 : to refuse to acknowledge or pay

So...they are both transitive verbs and their etymology stem from the year 1545, though the original Latin spellings of each indicate an intent of distinctly different meanings. A Defense Lawyer would "refute" the prosecution's arguments while "repudiate" (in my read) seems to be more relational.

Therefore...if I follow my own formula, "Refudiate" appears to mean "to prove wrong by argument or evidence while disowning the object of the original argument."

If someone has a better definition, please comment below.

I'd better close and get back to commenting on physics instead of politics!

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