Talk:Nonsense

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Henry Lee Lucas[edit]

Henry Lee Lucas wore a hat. Sometimes he would take the hat off and hit people with it. It was a hard hat. Also sometimes he would kill people. He was a Floridian.

I think he had brain problems. These problems stemmed from microwave radiation that leaked from cell phone towers. They made his brain crap and go crazy. Then he started to hear voices. The voices told him to kill his mother and father. He killed them. These voices also told him to invest in General Motors. He lost all his money in the great depression.

Henry Lee Lucas is sometimes called “the great unifier” because he was the president during reconstruction of the south during the Civil War. Like Abraham Lincoln. But he was shot. Lucas was instrumental in bringing the north back into the confederacy after they lost the war.

Henry Lee Lucas had a mother. A mother named Erbigina or Claudius. Sometimes Erbigina or Claudius would beat him. Sometimes she would not. Henry Lee Lucas was perplexed by this and this is why he grew up to be a statistician. He liked to calculate probability. He later remarked “It is difficult to calculate probability when being hit in the head with a broom.”

Henry Lee Lucas lived by the railroad tracks. Railroads were an important method of transportation in the 1600s. They were faster than horsebuggy. Horsebuggy was dangerous. It is not fun to ride horsebuggy!

Henry Lee Lucas was a ninja. It takes dedication to become a ninja. Ninja do not like hamburgers. Hamburgers disrupt their chi. That is “ninja speak” for giving them gas. This one time a ninja ate a full plate of hamburgers in a ninja dare. He exploded. It is not the way of the ninja.

In conclusion Henry Lee Lucas as was not a nice man. He killed people. Also he had a retarded friend named Otis that also killed people. They say “people who kill people have friends who kill people” and it is true. Otis drew a scary picture of a demon mask. It looked like a child drew it. It is because he was retarded.

While I suspect that the above text is a fine example, I'm not sure that the article on nonsense is improved by it. -- Smerdis of Tlön 16:29, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Probably not since this article is talking about things that have no meaning while up above has (though false) meaning. T97π (talk) 06:20, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Popper doesn't belong here[edit]

I've removed a sentence from this article that said: "Karl Popper's notion of falsifiability is an attempt to create an axiom for distinguishing sense from nonsense in the field of science; its validity remains controversial in the philosophy of science."

It's painfully obvious that whoever wrote this hasn't read much Popper, since he explicitly disavowed this misinterperetation of his falsification criterion. It was originally intended to demarcate between science and non-science, it had nothing to do with "sese" and "nonsense." This is a common error that stems from misrepresentations of Popper by logical positivists who were obsessed with meaning and sense, but he was quite explicit on correcting this misconception in his writings on several occaisions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.150.230.229 (talkcontribs)

^ irony —Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.200.192.144 (talkcontribs)

removing Hofstader[edit]

I took out the Hofstadter limerick. It is amusing, surely, but because it is an obvious parody it is precluded from being nonsense! Nonsense is usually parodic, but once it becomes straight parody, it ceases to become nonsense. At least, that's my take on it... This article needs a LOT of work from folks who have done research into literary nonsense... (and the literary nonsense entry too). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 65.96.181.119 (talk) 23:37, 25 April 2007 (UTC).

Suggesting removal of The philosophy of nonsense[edit]


The philosophy of nonsense

Philosophically, nonsense masquerading as sense is the gist of the charges of pseudoscience and pseudophilosophy.

For the examination of verifiability, falsifiability, and unfalsifiablility, British philosophers in the early twentieth century mooted the phrase, "The present king of France is bald." At that time France was governed by the Third Republic, so there was no king.

This, of course, shows a distinct lack of understanding of the monarchical concept by philosophers. Since royalty is passed down the generations according to rules of succession there would certainly at that time have been a person who was the 'King of France'. Whether this person was reigning or not was, of course, a different question. If, at a later date, France revives the idea of a monarchy, the appropriate king will not be elected - he will already be there.


a king has to be crowned to be a king. Bloodline alone wont do it. Kings are a sociological/political phenomenon, not a biological one. Therefore the above example is nonsense. In fact, its a lie = Nonsense Category 3. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Henrikdarlie (talkcontribs) 09:43, 23 October 2007 (UTC)


I wouldn't necessarily remove the entire section, but I would add that the "This, of course..." paragraph is anecdotal and does not clarify the point. If the user who added this paragraph feels that the example is a bad one, that user would do better to suggest a better example than to muddy the waters with tangential details. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.167.35.2 (talk) 20:20, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Nonsense categories[edit]

I have removed the "Nonsense categories" section from the article as it appears to be unsourced original research (in fact I can't find any reference to the term "Ideo-intentionalistic" outside of this article and its mirrors). Removed text:

Nonsense can be considered noise.
It comes in 4 categories:
1. Semantic nonsense. the use of wrong, distorted, misinterpreted, self-invented or nonexistent words; not making sense.
2. Syntactic nonsense, words put together in a way that does not make sense or gives non-intended meaning.
3. Contra-factual nonsense, are statements that deviate from facts. When known by the writer or utterer to be false, also called lies.
4. Ideo-intentionalistic or self-promoting nonsense, half-truths or "as the devil reads the Bible", statements that are designed to amplify certain facts (and ignores, hides or denies other related facts) to suit specific (normally personal) goals.

Please feel free to add this content back if reliable scholarly sources can be found for this categorization scheme. --Muchness (talk) 02:47, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Nonsense in philosophy[edit]

It seems that the more general sense of nonsense is not really dealt with here. In philosophy, nonsense is roughly equivalent to meaningless use of language. The logical positivists held that a proposition is meaningful if testable: if there is a practical way we can determine if it is true or false. If there isn't, then it is meaningless, or in other words nonsense. Nutterbutterz95 (talk) 20:17, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

This one philosophical view of nonsense is too narrow. It is more than meaninglessness in language. I think there needs to be a discussion on intended meaning and interpreted meaning. Maybe come up with original perspective on nonsense. I will contribute by saying by even discussing nonsense you strongly sense the absurd. the notion of nonsense must be intertwined with how we assign and place meaning in various hierarchies of order. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.99.112.153 (talk) 07:21, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Examples[edit]

I don't see why they were removed. Clear examples of logically incoherent and meaningless statements adds value to this article. Please, at a minimum, discuss before removing entire sections. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.110.139.163 (talk) 16:12, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

What is needed is some quoted examples of nonsense and not the every changing rubbish that gets dumped in every time an editor passes by. The random dumping of words and phrases does not help explain what nonsense is. CambridgeBayWeather Have a gorilla 05:07, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I added back the examples section with two that were from a PD book of nonsense verse, a short quote from Milligan and part of Jabberwocky. With a bit of luck it will help stop the constant adding and changing or random nonsense sentences. CambridgeBayWeather Have a gorilla 11:52, 4 February 2009 (UTC)


"In search of nonsense I searches high and low, everywhere which I could think of that anything of any nonsensical value remained unfathomed in the depths of semantics, in between the words which have no name and the sounds which blasted out nonsense soundly from largely reverberating drums of confusing noise, which spoke to the world of newer things yet to come which could enlighten a seeker after knowledge neither unbounded by logic nor imprisoned by reason; or whether reason would take me or not, I sought hither and thither between the gaps in my perceptions and the limits of my understandings, and forthwith came up with nothing new upon the subject of not knowing more about nonsense, either in its purest form or otherwise; but, still, I continued with my quest for the truth of it, even if this is a lie, a damn right lie, a complete lie, and nothing short of nonsense itself. Here though, perplexed by my own exposition and finding nothing new under the sun, I stood exposed as a fool; yet still and yet still again, after a brief pause which was neither rushed by its lack of continuance nor hurried by its length, I searched again undaunted for nonsense and all it stands for in the world of discourse that isn’t just so, and more; and it was not in vain that I searched since no nonsense resulted from it that was not complete in itself, and itself complete nonsense, and thus found what I was looking for, if only through its lack of presence." Archibald J. Stanton. The Book of No-Non-Sense Ch7. p. 13 (2021)
nobodyknows nobodyknows 21:34 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

Shouldn't we add an etymology section to this? I suppose the word nonsense comes from the latin roots non sanus, which means not sane. I think that it is necessary to add this is, but I don't have any sources to support this. Anyone want to find some reliable sources? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nutterbutterz95 (talkcontribs) 20:17, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

What's with the copyvio tag?[edit]

It looks like someone started a copyvio challenge against this article, but I can't see who or for what -- it looks like the tag was just plopped down there and then left alone. Does anyone have any insight to this, or is it OK to possibly remove it as a possible test/vandalism? Pat Payne (talk) 23:15, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

The tag was placed September 5 and a report filed. My review indicates the text covered by the CV template has been copy-pasted from this website. It is clearly a copyright violation. I have deleted the text and removed the template. CactusWriter | needles 14:32, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Apt nonsense in lead[edit]

...a verbal communication or written text which resembles a human language or other symbolic system, but which lacks any coherent meaning. How can a communication resemble a language or a text resemble a system? This is pure nonsense in the true meaning: language which cannot be understood because it does not mean anything. LOL! Jubilee♫clipman 22:46, 10 October 2009 (UTC) BTW I'll probably try to rewrite this but I want to leave it a while to see if anyone else comments. Jubilee♫clipman 22:46, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

I just had to rewrite the patent nonsense in the lead! The Witgenstein usage was in the wrong place, too, since it is an exception to the definition in the lead. I moved it to the end. Actually the tags are entirely appropriate: the article is not an encylopedia article, but rather a bunch of examples with no coherent structure beyond the fact that they relate vaguely to "nonsense". I will attempt to extensively rewrite this article. (No Split Infinitives are not nonsense!) Jubilee♫clipman 23:16, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Contested deletion[edit]

This page should not be speedily deleted because... (your reason here) --8.225.212.238 (talk) 02:48, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

This page should not be speedily deleted because... THAT'S NONSENSE! On a serious note, this page is linked (rightfully so) to many mental illnesses.--Test35965 (talk) 03:35, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

This page is ironically one of the most important pages wikipedia offers. I think there is fresh territory of discussion here. How we assign various hierarchies of nonsense and even the hierarchical paradigm are challenged here. don't dismiss this page so easily. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.99.112.153 (talk) 07:34, 17 April 2013 (UTC)