There was much commotion this week about Sarah Palin’s use of the word “refudiate” (later changed to “refute”) in a twitter remark about a proposed mosque at ground zero.
Such a gaffe of course is common among us Pinoys who frequently interchange our f’s with our p’s, although I tend to believe we make much more of it than other people. That was of course until this episode.
The Huffington Post covers the cheeky responses to her handling of the situation here. In her defense, she tweets that she made use of artistic license in her use of the “word” as others like Shakespeare have done in the past continuing the evolution of this “living” language. We Pinoys have of course been hard at work mutating our form of English into a whole new tongue altogether.
One need only point to the jokes within the novel Ilustrado to emphasize this point. The author Miguel Syjuco talks about his use of these narratives within the narrative of his book to tease out the absurdities of life in the Philippines in this video. He says that this ability to make light fun of the difficulties and travails of life is what makes us distinctly Pinoy.
It is this insight that Mrs Palin apparently failed to appreciate. So while she may have gained the fluency in this instance to talk like a Filipino, she still lacks the ability to journey through life like one.