White noise (slang)

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For other uses, see White noise (disambiguation).

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.

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