Going what?

According to the BBC Web site, Sarah Palin has released a memoir titled Going Rouge. Then I read a blog post by Jim Macdonald at Making Light that pointed out a typographical error on the CNN Web site, which he quoted as follows: “In excerpts of her new book ‘Going Rouge: An American Life’ that we….”

I stopped and read it again. That’s not a typo, that’s just the title of the book, I said to myself. Finally it sunk in: I had read the title wrong. Sarah Palin, who sees herself as a rogue who uses rouge, titled her book Going Rogue. But she is no more of a rogue than Winnie the Pooh, who is cute and cuddly and a bear of little brain. Whereas Sarah Palin obviously does use rouge. And the phrase “going rogue” has an odd sort of sound to it; it doesn’t sound like something an American speaker of English would ordinarily say. No wonder I made the mistake.

It’s too bad she gave the book that title; it will inevitably be misread; there is already a parody version of the book which is indeed titled Going Rouge. Unfortunately, this little incident makes me want to compare Sarah Palin to another hapless vice presidential type: Dan Quayle. Which actually makes me feel bad.

4 thoughts on “Going what?

  1. MIME

    I think Tina Fey, while portraying Palin, used that expression a couple of times on SNL. Not sure if it originated there though. I also heard a TV News person make that same mistake—Going Rouge—and I thought it was a perfect mistake!

  2. Amy

    Ah, those tricky ug/gu combos. Is it rogue or rouge? Gauge or guage? I think they get misspelled a lot because poor spellers only remember that there’s some odd thing with a u going on, then take a guess (or a geuss) at where the u goes. Kind of like my pet peeve, Ghandi (sic).

    I believe the term “going rogue” in reference to Palin originated with a Slate article by John Dickerson (http://www.slate.com/id/2230930/) on whether the McCain campaign had lost control of its Veep. At least, that’s the explanation now traveling the Internets, and there’s certainly a distinguished tradition of politicians seizing on an intended criticism and waving it as their banner, though at the moment I can’t think of any others.

    I’m also having a hard time tracking down what the expression actually means, but it’s a slang expression I’ve heard in various other contexts; I think it has to do with horses or cattle that have reverted to wild ways and become unmanageable. If so, it was a good play on words by Dickinson: maverick=as-yet-uncaptured-but-still-potentially-tameable steer, rogue=untameable steer.

  3. Jean

    Too too funny. “Going Rouge” is so more appropirate a title. Sequels just beg to be written: “Gone Botox” and “Alaska, Ho” (oh, sorry).

  4. Ted

    We know that this book will be a best seller. At the moment, three different on line book sellers (Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target) are selling it for less than $10, and NewsMax is giving it away with a year’s subscription.

    For myself, I wouldn’t buy a 500 page book that was written in a couple of months if you paid me.

Comments are closed.