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Word salad is a jumble of meaningless, confused, seemingly random, shifting, out of sequence, and generally unrelated words or phrases that lack logical meaning. Sometimes, the words may have some loose associations. The words may be grammatically correct, but not always. Regardless, the speech is incomprehensible and some of the words are made up (known as neologisms). An example of word salad would be “Popping bananas and zebra tries storing four selling in tryzing cars.”
Word salad is spoken by disoriented persons and by people with certain types of schizophrenia (usually advanced schizophrenia). Schizophrenia is a type of mental disorder in which one loses contact with reality. As such, the term is most often used in the fields of psychology and psychiatry. However, the term is also used in neurology, where disorders of the central nervous system (brain and spine) are studied because certain neurological conditions can cause word salad. Examples include dementia and receptive aphasia. Dementia is a progressive loss of cognitive and intellectual functioning without loss of consciousness. In receptive aphasia, deficient speech production is caused by difficulty comprehending speech due to brain disease.
Word salad can present as clanging, in which the words rhyme or certain sounds repeat without any logical connection. It can also present as excessive incoherent speech. Thus, people who speak this way can appear manic. Word salad is considered a sign of a thought disorder. People who speak in word salad are not aware that they do not make sense. Word salad is sometimes used to as an insult to negatively describe something that is poorly written or spoken. Word salad is also known as schizophasia.