An increasingly active social networker, Sarah Palin has recently tweeted her support of various candidates, her opposition to the mosque in downtown Manhattan and, on the 90th anniversary of women being allowed to vote, her thoughts on the feminist movement. On the latter point, she wrote yesterday: "Who hijacked term: 'feminist'? A cackle of rads who want 2 crucify other women w/whom they disagree on a singular issue: it's ironic (& passé)." Immediately, the unfamiliar term "cackle of rads" went viral, eliciting flurries of speculation over what the Alaskan conservative might have meant. Here, a selection of quick takes on Palin's curious phrase:
"Cackle is a collective noun for hyenas. Do we think @SarahPalinUsa is that clever?"
—Manhattan Institute analyst Josh Barro, on his Twitter feed
"Someone please buy this lady a dictionary: Sarah Palin referred to feminists as 'a cackle of rads' on Twitter on Wednesday, apparently confusing her own anti-feminist stereotype—that of women cackling—with the word we think she meant, 'gaggle,' which means a flock of geese."
—The Daily Beast
"What the dickens is a 'cackle of rads'? It could be anything from 'the best punk band you've never heard of' to 'the most violent of the violent English soccer hooligans.' It's likely Palin meant it to mean a 'cabal of radicals' but as far as we're concerned it's 'illiterate nonsense from some idiot's Twitter feed.'"
—Jim Newell at Gawker
"'A cackle of rads' - Is that like an exhortation of larks?"
—Slate's Jacob Weisberg, on his Twitter feed
"A school of fish, a murder of crows, a cackle of rads: we have a new collective noun."
—Ramesh Ponnuru at National Review
"1. cackle: word you use when you probably mean 'gaggle' as in a flock of geese or noisy group of people. 'Cackle' sounds more harsh than gaggle. Harsh is good when hating oneself
2. rads: short for 'radicals,' these are people you don't agree with.
As for who hijacked the term, clearly it was the Muslims behind the Cordoba House."
—Blogger Baratunde Thurston
"The test results are back, and they aren't good. I... I have a cackle of rads."
—Blogger Josh Berthume, on his Twitter feed
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- These real-life Rosie the Riveters changed the face of labor
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- 5 deliciously creative oats recipes
Subscribe to the Week