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Published:April 1st, 2011 09:39 EST
What do Sarah Palin, the Vuvuzela, Snooki and the English Language Have in Common?

What do Sarah Palin, the Vuvuzela, Snooki and the English Language Have in Common?

By Donna Cavanagh

Every once in a while a word becomes popular.  Television, current events or our own stupidity breed word changes that become part of our modern culture.   I have decided to talk about some of these words that are now enjoying their moment in the sun.  It is my hope that by focusing on them, we can erase these words from our language or perhaps come up with new definitions that might help them make the world a more literate and compassionate place to be.

My first word on the list is dogmatic. While I am acquainted with the religious overtone of the word dogma --16 years of catholic school will do that to you -- I was not aware that the adjective dogmatic is a word used by pompous people when they want to criticize or condemn someone else`s opinions or belief system.

If I had my choice, I would not get rid of this word, but rather, I would change its meaning because I think dogmatic holds promise.  From now on, dogmatic should mean an automatic action by a dog.  For example, when I open the refrigerator door, I know it is dogmatic that my pooches will come running. Or, chasing a squirrel in the yard is dogmatic.  

See, this new definition works great with  no more religious overtones. To be honest, I am surprised how a word like dogma got to have a religious connotation  I mean, it`s true that dog backwards is God, but I don`t think that was done on purpose -- or was it?  Wouldn`t it tick off a lot of people to learn that God is just a big German Shepherd running wild in heaven? 

Something to think about while we go to word number two: Refudiate.  I hate to burst anyone`s bubble, but in case you do not know, it is not a real word; it is a Sarah Palin invention. She tried to mush together refute and repudiate. Apparently, vocabulary isn`t her cup of tea. Get it? Tea - tea party?  I hate when I have to explain jokes. Anyway, this made up word took off and is now used both as a comedic tool and also by ignorant people who believe anything Sarah Palin says.  While my first thought was to give refudiate a new meaning,  I now think it`s best to remove the pseudo word from the world in hopes that once it disappears so will Sarah Palin.

My third word: Vuvuzela.  Yes, that long plastic-tubed, horn thing made famous by the World Cup has worked its way into our hearts and became one of the most popular words of the year.  People loved to say it, but when the World Cup was over so was the Vuvuzela. As we all know, soccer is not exactly a popular spectator sport in the US. I know there are soccer geeks out there who love the sport, but it`s time to face the fact that Soccer will only become part of the American sports landscape when football, baseball, basketball, hockey and NASCAR cease to exist.

On a positive note, I think we can save Vuvuzela.  I propose that from now on the state of Florida become known as the state of Vuvuzela. I think Florida would be a good state for this because it already has that Latin theme going on and Vuvuzela sounds Latin and spring breakers would bring the name to life. I can hear college kids talking now:

"Where are you going on spring break?"

"Vuvuzela, of course. Vuvuzela has the best parties."
See, it has a great ring to it.  If Florida does not want it, I think it could go to Arizona or Wisconsin. Both states seem to need an image change, and I think taking the name Vuvuzela might help them gain some positive press.  

The last words on my list to change are Guido and Guidette.  These two words became popular and are listed on thanks to the TV show Jersey Shore.  These two terms describe New York Italians who GTL or gym, tan and do laundry every day.  Now, being from a New York Italian family, my first reaction was to take offense at these terms. After all, I have known people named Guido, I swear. But instead I have opted to do something more constructive. I don`t want to throw these words away. No, I think I would prefer to expand their influence by having Ken and Barbie Guido and Guidette dolls. 

Hear me out. I think Mattel would make a fortune on these dolls, and with their popularity, Mattel would hire more workers, and because Mattel was hiring, their competitors would come up with similar dolls and have to hire too. And then the fast food restaurants would have kids meals with mini Guidos and Guidettes, and then Hollywood would make a movie if one is not already in development, and there would be clothing lines and before you know the worst recession in 70 years will be over and we will owe it all to Snooki and the rest of the Jersey Shore Guidos and Guidettes.

Huh. That is a lot to ponder. You know, I think I changed my mind. Let`s throw those words out. The idea of Snooki as a national hero might be the final undoing of this country.