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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/23/20

Choking down word salad

Author 49916
Message Mike Zimmer

Cross-posted from: click here. This is a companion piece to: click here

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

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

I don't wish to trivialize schizophasia, however, in the speech and writings of some people who are probably not clinically affected with problems, 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 cliche's
  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.

Examples

Word salad speech - claimed to be a transcription of a video with Donald Trump https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4546796/user-clip-donald-trump-sentence:

"Look, having nuclearmy 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 worldit's true!but when you're a
conservative Republican they tryoh, do they do a numberthat's
why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went
there, went there, did this, built a fortuneyou know I have to give my
like credentials all the time, because we're a little disadvantagedbut
you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers meit 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 rightwho would have thought?),
but when you look at what's going on with the four prisonersnow it
used to be three, now it's fourbut 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 yearsbut 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 http://artatom.com/lyric_creator/word_salad_generator.php

"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 http://profron.net/fun/BadWriting.html

"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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Mike Zimmer Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Father and husband, free thinker, with a libertarian socialist bent, published writer, essayist, retired information systems consultant, former experimental psychology graduate student, martial arts teacher, writer of tunes, guitar teacher, (more...)
 

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