Choking down word salad


“This person must be a brilliant writer; I have no idea what they are trying to say.” — Ephektikoi

Word salad is a medical condition; a manifestation of clinical and neurological problems. It is called schizophasia.

I don’t wish to trivialize schizophasia, however, in the writings of some people, we routinely see unclear, disorganized, and chaotic exposition, almost a word salad. We might see:

  1. Odd assertions
  2. Random phrases
  3. Inappropriate catchphrases
  4. Trite clichés
  5. Limping analogies
  6. Strange metaphors

Such writing presents fragmentary ideas, not even proper assertions, and how they relate is never made clear. There must be a connection in the mind of the writer, but it is not necessarily a coherent connection. It is quite subjective, solipsistic almost, and not something with a clear and unambiguous meaning.

Clarity is a virtue in communication. However, such such writing is incoherent and not cohesive; it is almost free association. It leads a person to wonder: is the intent to communicate or obfuscate? Does it simply imply that no effort was put in to crafting the prose? Perhaps poor writing springs from poor reasoning and disorganized thinking. Is it possible that the chaotic words are a manifestation of chaotic thoughts? Whatever is behind it, it is bad, bad writing.


Word salad speech – claimed to be a transcription of a video with Donald Trump

“Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes,
OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart
—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if,
like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the
smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you’re a
conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s
why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went
there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my
like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but
you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would
have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear
is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the
power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of
what’s going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?),
but when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners—now it
used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I
would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because,
you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter
right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about
another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.”

Word salad from a word salad generator

“There is no escape
and that’s fantastic
This is the end we won’t seek any more
Say goodbye to the world you live in
You’ve always been searching
but now you’re hiding”

Word salad from an academic paper discussed at

“The visual is essentially pornographic, which is to say that it has its end in rapt, mindless fascination; thinking about its attributes becomes an adjunct to that, if it is unwilling to betray its object; while the most austere films necessarily draw their energy from the attempt to repress their own excess (rather than from the more thankless effort to discipline the viewer).” — Fredric Jameson

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