What Is a Word Salad in Speech or Writing?

In the metaphorical sense, the term word salad (or word-salad) refers to the practice of stringing together words that have no apparent connection with one another, in a state of jumbled speech or disorderly writing. It is also known as paraphrasia (in psychology).

The term word salad refers to a rare form of disorganized speech used by psychiatrists:

  • Campbell’s Psychiatric Dictionary

    It is a collection of neologisms, according to Robert Jean Campbell. These neologisms are meaningless until they are discussed in depth by the patient, and this reveals their underlying meaning. There is a coded language which is akin to dreams in principle; the patient holds the table to the code and is the only person who is able to provide meaning to the otherwise incomprehensible dialect.

Examples and Observations

  • Manfred Spitzer

    Schizophrenic patients often have indirect, oblique, or remote associations, according to [Psychiatrist Eugen] Bleuler. Observed either in spontaneous speech or in the word association test, this type of association involves a word that doesn’t overtly connect two words. A wood-dead cousin is one of Bleuler’s examples. This association appears to be a complete word salad at first glance. If you know that the patient’s cousin died recently and was buried in a wooden coffin, it becomes obvious that there was, in fact, an indirect association between wood and the coffin.
  • D. Benson and Alfredo

    ArdilaNeology and semantic jargon are the primary components of schizophrenic language output referred to as word salad, which encapsulates the discordant mixture of misappropriated linguistic features. The most common cause of word salad, however, is brain damage (Benson, 1979a).
  • Green ideas sleep furiously, according to Noam Chomsky.
  • Susan Neville

    Music is never called ‘word salad’ when there are recognizable words, but no one else can make sense of them.
  • Gregory Corso

    The thought of coming home to her would be wonderful
    We’ll sit by the fireplace and she’ll be in the kitchen
    Looking for my baby, aproned and young and lovely
    She burns the roast beef because she is so happy about me
    As she cries, I get up from my big papa chair and go to her
    The Christmas teeth are here! You have a radiant brain! Deaf as an apple! What a wonderful husband I would be!

Word Salads and Creative Writing

  • Heather Sellers

    In addition, schizophrenia was characterized by ‘word salad.’ One example was a rambling block quotation interspersed with inappropriate laughter about the death of a grandmother, sunlight, dinner, and cats that hadn’t existed. Again, she is not my mother. ‘Word salad’ was the name of an exercise I gave my students at the beginning of the year. The transition from death to dinner can be crucial, heartbreaking in a work of fiction.

    In a fat gray volume titled Schizophrenia, I opened a page. In a chart I found, I found warning signs of the disease: birth complications, separation from parents, withdrawn behavior, emotional unpredictability, poor peer relations, and solo play. It could also be considered the recipe for becoming a writer or an artist.

Word-Salad Poetry

  • Nancy Bogen

    You must not become so enamored of your sounds that you lose sight of what you’re saying. It would be tantamount to creating word-salad, and even as a rebellion, it will not do. what’s boring as repeating the same word or phrase over and over like a mantra, it’s been done too many times.like a mantra. On a printed page, people would shrug and move on; if you read it aloud, they would tune out. What’s the big deal, some of you ask? Poetry is a special form of communication between you, the poet, and others who want to hear what you have to say.

Word-Salad Spam

  • Pui-Wing Tam

    Antispam software companies say word-salad spam has become increasingly problematic in recent years. In 2003, a Bayesian filter, a type of sophisticated screening technology, gained popularity by stringing together gibberish phrases.

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