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Word salad is a "confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases", most often used to describe a symptom of a mental disorder. The words may or may not be grammatically correct, but the meaning is hopelessly confused. Although the term is most often used in psychiatry, it may also be used in computer programming to describe textual randomization. It is frequently used as a pejorative, to describe unintelligible speech or poorly written literature.
In mental health diagnoses 
Word salad may describe a symptom of mental conditions in which a person attempts to communicate an idea, but words and phrases that may appear to be random and unrelated come out in an incoherent sequence instead. Often, the person is unaware that he or she did not make sense. It appears in people with dementia and schizophrenia, as well as after anoxic brain injury.
It may be present as:
- Receptive aphasia
- Schizophasia, a mental condition characterized by incoherent babbling (compulsive or intentional, but nonsensical)
- Logorrhea, a mental condition characterized by excessive talking (incoherent and compulsive)
- Clanging, a speech pattern that follows rhyming and other sound associations rather than meaning.
In computing 
Word salad can be generated by a computer program for entertainment purposes (for example, a game similar to Mad Libs). Mojibake, also called Buchstabensalat ("letter salad") in German, is an effect similar to word salad, in which an assortment of random text is generated through character encoding incompatibility. This artefact has been the subject of amusement as well, when people tried to "translate" the generated characters into intelligible words and sentences.
Nonsensical phrasing can also be generated for more malicious reasons, such as the Bayesian poisoning used to counter Bayesian spam filters by randomizing text in a syntax that seems to make nominal sense. Bayesian poisoning may also use intelligible sentences, such as text taken from an old novel, which have no connection to the main subject of the spam.
See also 
|Look up word salad in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- "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.
- Berinato, Scott (April 2007). The Scourge of Image Spam: Image Spam Techniques 6 (4). CXO Media Inc. ISSN 1540-904X.
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