Sarah Palin, gone rogue
Just read the press release announcing the November release of Sarah Palin’s memoir, titled “Going Rogue: An American Life.”
I don’t care that she has written a memoir, won’t read her memoir, and am stunned that Harper has commissioned a first printing of 1.5 million copies.
However, what is really bothering me is the use of the word “rogue” in the title. Rogue is not a flattering word. Seeing it in the title drove me to the dictionary.
I opened my worn, thin-paper copy (“THIN PAPER” is actually printed above the title) of “Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary,” copyright 1959, by G. & C. Merriam Co., and looked up “rogue.” The definitions follow.
1. A vagrant; an idle sturdy beggar; a tramp.
2. A knave; cheat.
3. Scamp; rascal.
4. A rogue elephant.
5. Biol. A chance variation:--usually applied to inferior or nontypical plants.
Following this we find “rogue elephant” defined.
Rogue elephant: A vicious elephant which separates from the herd and roams alone.
Then we find “rogue’s gallery,” defined as “A collection of portraits of persons arrested as criminals, for the use of the police.” And “rogue’s march,” “Derisive music for a person driven away under popular indignation or official sentence, as when a soldier is drummed out of a regiment.
After reading the definitions I’m making the elitist assumption that neither Ms. Palin nor her collaborator, Lynn Vincent, have a feeling for the subtlety of language. Did they check a dictionary? Did they think “rogue” is a synonym for “maverick?”
Ms Palin supposedly spent several days in New York working around the clock with editors at Harper after she and Vincent finished their work. Didn’t any of those editors look up the word “rogue?”