'Word salad' is most often used for a symptom of a neurological or mental disorder. The words may or may not be grammatically correct. The key thing is that a listener cannot get any meaning from them. The term is often used in psychiatry and theoretical linguistics to describe language which native speakers judge is meaningless.
In mental health diagnoses[change | change source]
Word salad occurs in neurological or psychological cases in which a person tries to communicate, and words and phrases come out – but make no sense. Often, the person is unaware that they did not make sense. It appears in people with dementia and schizophrenia, and after anoxic brain injury.
It may be present as:
- Receptive aphasia: damage to brain centres dealing with language.
- Schizophasia: incoherent babbling, sometimes a symptom of schizophrenia.
- Logorrhea: a mental condition characterized by excessive talking.
- Graphorrhea: a written version of word salad, rarer than logorrhea in schizophrenics.
In computing[change | change source]
Word salad can be generated by a computer program for various purposes.
Mojibake, also called Buchstabensalat ("letter salad") in German, is an effect similar to word salad, in which an assortment of seemingly-random text is generated.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- "Definition of "word salad". Oxford University Press. 2012.
- Shives, Louise Rebraca (2008). Basic concepts of psychiatric-mental health nursing. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 112. ISBN 0-7817-9707-1.
- "Merck Manual". merckmanuals.com. Merck Publishing. Retrieved 12/6/14. Check date values in:
- Geschwind, Norman (1974). Selected papers on language and the brain (2. print. ed.). Dordrecht ; Boston: Reidel. p. 80. ISBN 9789027702623.
- Berinato, Scott (April 2007). The scourge of image spam: image spam techniques. 6. CXO Media Inc.. ISSN 1540-904X. https://books.google.com/books?id=H2AEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA25.