White noise (slang)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see White noise (disambiguation).
A polandball[citation needed] comic which satirises the relationship of North Korea and the United States, with the US unable to sleep without the white noise which North Korea provides.

The term white noise, the 'sh' noise produced by a signal containing all audible frequencies of vibration, is sometimes used as slang (or a neologism) to describe a meaningless commotion or chatter that masks or obliterates underlying information.

The information itself may have characteristics that achieve this effect without the need to introducing a masking layer. A common example of this usage is a politician including more information than needed to mask a point he doesn't want noticed.

In music the term is used for music that is discordant with no melody; disagreeable, harsh or dissonant.[1]

"White noise" in the media[edit]

On the January 11, 2005 broadcast of ABC's Good Morning America, Claire Shipman claimed "the political rhetoric on Social Security is white noise" to most Americans.[2]

The novel White Noise by Don DeLillo explores several themes that emerged during the mid-to-late twentieth century. The title is a metaphor pointing to the confluence of all the symptoms of postmodern culture that in their coming-together make it very difficult for an individual to actualize his or her ideas and personality.