THE BLOG
11/23/2010 10:58 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Palingerism: A Neologism For Our TIme

Does anyone really believe that Sarah Palin wrote by herself two full-length books? Neither of these books print on the cover or inside any acknowledgment of a ghost writer. Going Rogue, it turns out was written by ghostwriter, Lynn Vincent, but the book doesn't acknowledge a ghostwriter. Could someone like Palin who barely can put a sentence together actually have managed to string them along in coherent prose to book length? Really!?

At least George Bush had the sense to acknowledge a co-writer, and even with that admission, it turned out that many segments of his book were taken from the writings of his former colleagues and the works of other journalists practically verbatim. Even the Pope, being the paragon of morality, had the humility to list a "written with" on the cover of his new book. No such luck with her holiness Palin.

And what about Palin's tweets and blog entries? Are we supposed to believe that there is not a team of people being Sarah Palin? Most recently she weighed in on "quantative easing {aka QE}." Do you know what that is? Most non-economists haven't a clue, but Sarah Palin has strong opinions on the role of the Federal Reserve Bank's monetary policy. Really?

Here's what "she" "wrote" in a letter to the Wall Street Journal:
"Prof. Blinder seems blind to the clear and present dangers of QE2. Instead of seriously discussing these dangers, he takes us on an excursion to a Keynesian utopia, a mythical land in which endless government spending is an amazingly effective job creator and investors' confidence in U.S. Treasury bonds somehow increases as we sink ever deeper into debt while the Fed has its printing presses working overtime." Palin wrote that? Really!?

We professors have a name for what happens when a student has a friend write a paper and includes unacknowledged sources word-for-word from another source, we call that plagiarism. And we punish students severely for that transgression because it is both fraud and theft.

Yet, someone like Sarah Palin get's paid heftily for the very same infraction.

OK, it's true that no politician writes all of his or her own speeches, but there is a matter of degree in the extent to which these people create and vet the words they say. It was obvious to earlier commentators that after her numerous gaffs, Palin's supporter and publisher Rupert Murdoch took control of her world-salad statements, packaged them, and turned them into five-course meals.

Because Sarah, left on her own, will come up with neologisms like "refudiate," I now propose our own word -- "palingerism?" It would be defined as "the deliberate attempt of Ivy League ghostwriters to sound homey and folksy by putting words into the mouth of someone who barely understands them."