Redefining Nonsense in English and Chinese (new study)

“Definitions of nonsense vary widely and often pay little attention to cultural context or the phenomenology of reading.” – explains Professor Alan Levinovitz of James Madison University, US in a Sept. 2017 article for the journal Comparative Literature. “After surveying the problems with these definitions, the article then redefines nonsense experientially, that is, as the […]

Riding the Incongruity Wave (30+ years of brainwave research)

Try reading the following sentences : ”He took a sip from the transmitter.” – “I take coffee with cream and dog.” – “He planted string beans in his car.” Did you experience anything unusual? Probably not, but if you had been hooked up to a set of scalp-electrodes and an electroencephalographic analyser which was recording […]

Nonword Generator OnLine

If it’s nonwords you’re after, you can very probably find everything you need in the ARC Nonword Database developed by professors Rastle, Harrington, and Coltheart in 2002. Details of which were published in ‘358,534 nonwords: The ARC Nonword Database’ (The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A: Human Experimental Psychology, Volume 55, Issue 4) Should […]

Gibberish scholarship happily fills the cracks, again

Comes another reminder that some scholarly journals, like some people, are less careful than others. [Another way to put this: if the ONLY thing you know about a report is that it was published in “a scholarly journal”, then you know almost nothing about it.] Richard van Noorden reports, in Nature: The publishers Springer and IEEE are […]

Cryptography Quiz: LibiGel language

Today’s Cryptography Quiz is a multiple-choice question: Is the following text (a) written in a secret code; or (b) nonsensically-randomized words; or (c) simple obfuscation; or (d) something else? The text is from the beginning of a press release issued by BioSante Pharmaceuticals: LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: BPAX – News) today announced top-line results from […]