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WORD SALAD

July 10th, 2020

 

Word salad is confused nonsense.  The actual definition renders it as total blabber, but in common conversation word salad seems to have a bit more deception:  it’s often used to pin down some language that sounds like it’s getting at something deep or complicated or very intelligent, but is in essence just a bunch of buzzwords strung together with convoluted balderdash. 

 

It must be plainly admitted that a non-zero percentage of Tinkered Thinking might touch this loathsome territory.  Not every episode is a nail-on-the-head success.  And certainly some episodes are written when the mind is a bit too frayed at the end of a long day, and alas, at the mercy of poor planning.  But there is absolutely no regret nor shame in these subpar episodes.  If it weren’t for these limp episodes, the best of Tinkered Thinking wouldn’t exist.  The reason, of course, is because this is a daily practice, and when something is done everyday, there are going to be off-days, uninspired days, and plain old bad days.

 

There’s also something to be said for the nature of writing.  Is every episode planned before the writing is begun?  Not at all.  That does not reflect one of the core benefits of writing.  As a tool, writing is perhaps most effectively used as an exploration tool.  We explore thought with the written word, discovering its contours, the depth and breadth of it’s tendrils, and inevitably, we learn far more about our own opinion and perspective on a given topic than can ever be achieved by mere musing alone.  Exploring the unknown in this way is, of course, going to lead into occasional garbled thinking, as the linguistic whims and shape of sentences lead the text off the scent of strong thought and into wordy garbage.  Hence, word salad.  But again, this is not necessarily a bad thing.  Composing excellent word salad, is in itself an exercise that isn’t without value.  Even in garbage we can discover discarded treasure, and even within the folds of wordy nonsense, a clean and clear sentence can suddenly emerge and become a seed for more worthwhile pondering.

 

After all, salad is generally a healthy meal, though perhaps not the most satisfying. 

 


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Podcast Ep. 817: Word Salad

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Tinkered Thinking


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