Via Talking Points Memo comes this correction from the Los Angeles Times:
FOR THE RECORD:
Sarah Palin: In some editions of Sunday's Section A, an article about Sarah Palin's speech to the National Tea Party Convention quoted her as saying, "How's that hopey, changing stuff working out for you?" She said, "How's that hopey, changey stuff working out for you?"
Maybe the L.A. Times editors could have spared themselves some confusion by paying more attention to the American Dialect Society voting for Word of the Year. For 2008, I included hopey changey in my list of nominations, defining it as follows:
hopey changey: Derisive epithet incorporating Obama’s two main buzzwords (also dopey hopey changey).
In the '08 WOTY voting, hopey changey (hyphenated as hopey-changey) ended up in a special category of election-related terms, finishing a distant third behind maverick and lipstick on a pig (but ahead of hockey mom).
We've discussed the gregarious -y suffix here a number of times, for instance in my posts "Feeling all Olympic-y" and "Slang affixation: it's all mystery-y-ish-y." Both posts cite the signal work of Michael Adams on the -y suffix in his books Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon (2004) and Slang: The People's Poetry (2009). Beyond linguisticky circles, Adams is perhaps best known for his pseudo-feud with Stephen Colbert a few years ago, after truthiness was selected as ADS WOTY for 2005. In an AP report, Adams summed up Colbert's buzzword as "truthy, not facty" (in true Buffy style). But since the AP somehow neglected to mention "The Colbert Report" in its coverage of the vote, that gave the eternally put-upon Mr. Colbert license to put Adams on his "On Notice" board (where, as far as I know, he remains to this day).
(And speaking of media errors, recall that the New York Times originally had trouble with Colbert's truthiness, first rendering it as trustiness in Alessandra Stanley's review. That, it turned out, was a cupertino.)
As for A-y B-y formulations in general, there's a big class of reduplicated compounds like airy-fairy, art(s)y-fart(s)y, fuddy-duddy, hanky-panky, hoity-toity, hurly-burly, itsy-bitsy, loosey-goosey, namby-pamby, okey-dokey, roly-poly, teeny-weeny, willy-nilly and wishy-washy. Others, like hopey changey, only reduplicate the -y element, like hunky-dory, topsy-turvy, and upsy-daisy. Perhaps most germane here are A-y B-y compounds that more transparently reflect a combination of the A and B bases, like artsy-craftsy, creepy-crawly, and touchy-feely. Many of these are disparaging, and I'd imagine touchy-feely in particular serves as a model for Palin and other opponents of Obama's hopey-changiness (but not his changingness).