Have you heard the term “word salad” before? I’d never heard it until a few months ago, when my sister was talking so fast she jumbled a whole bunch of words together, then said she was having word salad. Of course I, wordsmith that I am, had never heard of the term.
In looking it up on the uber reliable Internet, I saw that the term was everywhere. On the oft-referenced Wikipedia, for example. In clicking that helpful link I saw that Word Salad is the name of a poetry magazine (music to my ears!) that “has been in publication since 1995” and “was founded by poets Bruce Whealton and Lynn Krupey.” Good to know.
Word Salad became a debut album in 1979 by Fischer-Z. John Watts and Steve Skolnik. And in “1978, the band secured a record deal with United Artists, alongside the Buzzcocks, The Stranglers and Dr. Feelgood.”
In looking at Dictionary.com, I noted that the origins of word salad go back to 1910-15. Their definition includes “incoherent speech consisting of both real and imaginary words, lacking comprehensive meaning, and occurring in advanced schizophrenic states.”
While I hadn’t heard of word salad before, I know I have committed eaten swallowed engaged in it before. Blogging, in particular, brings this condition out in me. (As you’ve probably noticed a time or two.) Having lots of different blogs and clients means that I’m writing lots of different content, and sometimes my brain moves faster than my fingers. This also happens when I talk very fast.
The term word salad seems to be a medical one, but I can’t help wondering if some of the ordinary instances (like when my sister was babbling away and when I was typing too fast to make sense) couldn’t be helped by simply slowing down just a bit. In this fast-paced world, it seems that things do get a bit jumbled, including our words. What do you think?