(noun) Word Salad is a jumble of words and phrases which sound as if they are meant to communicate something but when considered carefully, we find that they are void of meaning.
When a psychopath has no idea what he’s talking about, word salad — delivered with the supreme confidence that only a psychopath can present — allows him to still appear authoritative. A psychopath uses word salad to force the listener to assume responsibility for deriving meaning from the psychopath’s meaningless words.
The psychopath’s confident delivery and persona makes the word salad most effective when delivered in person, but some psychopaths have been known to attempt to deliver word salad in writing. Written word salad is much less effective for the psychopath, because the reader has the ability to go back over the text and examine it for meaning. When the psychopath is then asked to clarify why he used a particular word in a certain context where it makes no sense, he will reply, “A word means whatever I want it to mean at the time.” This can be an effective means of silencing his critics since they immediately go into a WTF moment.
Dr. Hervey Cleckley, author of “The Mask of Sanity”, coined the term semantic aphasia to describe the psychopath’s inability to understand the deeper meanings of words. This shallow understanding of language is in part, why a psychopath believes he can attribute any meaning, to any word, at any time, with no prior explanation to the reader or listener. It is also another example of the psychopath assuming authority to define a word while leaving the responsibility for understanding it’s meaning, to the listener or reader.
Other times, the psychopath will simply be enjoying his ability to manipulate by using word salad. It amuses him, knowing that the listener, not wanting to embarrass him or themselves, will not even question it. The psychopath will go home and tell his wife about it, laughing hysterically.« Back to Glossary Index