The Sandra Sanders speech wasn't psychiatric word salad, it was deliberate gaslightingBy Hal Brown, MSW
Those of us who watch MSNBC keep hearing terms like unhinged and untethered from reality, and today in the Raw Story article shown above (with my added picture) "word salad" is a term used to describe the GOP response Sarah Sanders gave to the State of the Union speech.
These terms tend to be used colloquially but many of them have counterparts in psychiatry. "Word salad" is one of them. Used to describe the Sanders rebuttal it is meant to be a mishmash of ingredients which, alas, for a chef would make a hard to stomach salad.
In psychiatry those who speak in a word salad are manifesting a symptom of a serious disorder.
A word salad, or schizophasia, is a "confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases", most often used to describe a symptom of a neurological or mental disorder. The term schizophasia is used in particular to describe the confused language that may be evident in schizophrenia. The words may or may not be grammatically correct, but are semantically confused to the point that the listener cannot extract any meaning from them. The term is often used in psychiatry as well as in theoretical linguistics to describe a type of grammatical acceptability judgement by native speakers, and in computer programming to describe textual randomization.
Word salad may describe a symptom of neurological or psychiatric conditions in which a person attempts to communicate an idea, but words and phrases that may appear to be random and unrelated come out in an incoherent sequence instead. Often, the person is unaware that he or she did not make sense. It appears in people with dementia and schizophrenia, as well as after anoxic brain injury. In schizophrenia it is also referred to as schizophasia. Clang associations are especially characteristic of mania, as seen in bipolar disorder, as a somewhat more severe variation of flight of ideas. In extreme mania, the patient's speech may become incoherent, with associations markedly loosened, thus presenting as a veritable word salad.