Sarah Palin, wordsmith, famous for her portmanteau "refudiate" (a blend of refute and repudiate) has struck again with "squirmish," a coinage which amalgamates "squirm" and "skirmish." Here's the relevant sentence:
"Those are legitimate questions on both sides of the aisle, and another big question that has to be asked is 'Are we at war?' I haven't heard the president say that we are at war, and that's why I, too, am not knowing: Do we use the term 'intervention'? Do we use 'war'? Do we use 'squirmish'? What is it?"
I cherish the irony that the Governor is concerned with precision in language and is troubled that our military actions in Libya lack proper definition.
I myself, an admirer of "squirmish," am puzzled by her use of the present progressive "I am not knowing" where a native speaker of English would say, "I do not know." Is it an alaskanism with which I'm not familiar? Did they neglect to teach the present progressive at the University of Idaho, where Ms. Palin earned her degree in Communication? Or is she perhaps an imperfectly- trained foreign agent smuggled into the country by the Stasi or the KGB with the mission of undermining the American polity?
Moreover, it is wonderful out of all hooping that "palin" means "backward" in Greek. As "trump" means "deceive" in French.