How to write nonsense

You may be wondering on what occasion a person would need the ability to write nonsense. You may also wonder, what is there to it? How hard can it be? Other questions that may arise are, what purpose does writing nonsense serve, or, do spaghetti and lozenges read Alfred Hitchcock stories while sunbathing at night?

I will attempt to answer one or more of the questions above, unless I don't.

How hard is it to write nonsense?

Well, there are a few different kinds of nonsense. The easy one is just hitting a bunch of keys and looks like this:

fkjsh iuy9087sdkjvv  dkusl


This isn't the kind of nonsense that I am referring to in this hub.

Another kind of nonsense is when you take real words and just slap them together, like this:

boat sink loading frames information sordidly;


This also isn't the kind of nonsense that I am referring to in this hub, though there are moments where this kind of nonsense can be useful.

What I'd like to show you is how to write nonsense where the sentence usually is of a correct grammatical composition and the words generally are used in the correct manner, however, the words put together are not usually combined in that manner. Here are a few examples:

Look!  A plaid mole flying through the water, see how she slices that mustard up into thousands of little barrels.
Mexico isn't like a limerick made of suburban kitchen fires.
Kite flying without using one's ankles can be built with exquisitely unkemptness.


How hard is it to write these things? With practice it eventually becomes easier than leap frogging over a poorly tied tourniquet.

How to write nonsense

So how does one actually write nonsense such as this? Take a look around you, look at all of the objects that surround you, give them their proper names like desk, chair, wall, ceiling, flowerpot, monitor, keyboard, mouse, couch and so on. So run through that list of words in your head, pick one and now find an incongruous adjective. An easy way to do this is to make use of how our senses perceive different things differently. So the ceiling is noisy, the keyboard smells like oranges and the desk feels like water. Now look for a verb that can act upon the noun-adjective combination you've just created, the verb can either agree with the noun (the chair rolls, the mouse points, the couch is sat upon) or the verb can be disparate, (the chair points, the mouse is sat upon, the couch rolls). All that is left is a predicate, so repeat the same procedure only this time, instead of looking around you, imagine a different place and look at the objects in that place - for example, imagine you are in a fast food restaurant, or imagine you are in a nightclub, a ski resort, a class room, a shoelace factory or a clinic specializing in excitement deprivation. In the place you pick to imagine yourself, think of the people you might find there, or the objects you might find there and pick one of them for your sentence.So here are some examples given what I've described above as to 'how to write nonsense':

The ski instructor sat upon the noisy ceiling.
The shoe lace factory worker drank the desk.

What purpose does writing nonsense serve

I find that practicing the skill of writing nonsense allows me to exercise my vocabulary as I am often looking to find new words to use in ways that are incongruous with their true meaning. This compels me to look up the word first to know how it is normally used, which helps me to know how to use it inappropriately.

Another purpose is to provide inspiration for other writing. In writing nonsensical statements, and doing so over and over, eventually an idea can arise out of one of the statements written that provides the catalyst for a new hub, a new blog post, a new short story, or a stalemate without intoxicated herrings.

Do spaghetti and lozenges read Alfred Hitchcock stories while sunbathing at night?

No.

On what occasion would a person need the ability to write nonsense?

There is no specific occasion where having this ability really proves helpful, however, if one is needing some form of inspiration to get started on writing something, writing nonsense can certainly help.

Conclusion

One way that I like using nonsense in the form of a question is to exercise the minds of children. With some children I can ask them a nonsense question and that encourages them to try to ask one of me which exercises their imagination and vocabulary.

For further reading, I have been writing nonsense at my blog for quite a while now, you can check out nonsense there.

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Comments 50 comments

Debstar 5 years ago

The only time I use nonsense is when my husband is snoring. I will ask a question such as 'When you are preparing a red cabbage should you slice it with a lemon or mash it with a flamingo?'. It seems that for as long as his brain is trying to process this piece of nonsense he stops snoring. However, I have found that a more effective way of sleeping through his snoring is to sleep in another bedroom.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Funny... who knew that the unconscious could be so prepared to receive questions such as these.


whoisbid profile image

whoisbid 5 years ago

The big Goggle absolutely loves nonsense but their 8 legged insects that visit our websites are not intelligent enough to understand the meaning of a parableim no matter how many billions of dollars are poured into making a better Al Gore Rhythm.

I hope you find my reply to your smashing article something cognizant!


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Recalcitrant enigmatically driven arachnids have nothing on obsequious blitherings, but alas, such is the nature of nonsense.


whoisbid profile image

whoisbid 5 years ago

precisely!


SariCeciliaArts 5 years ago

Thank You "Phil" for the hilarious tips on how to write nonsense!

I found it very useful, funny and poetic.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Thank you, Sari, I hope to at some point see some nonsense from you. Feel free to add nonsense as a comment to any hub I write, I relish the opportunity to read it.


mattdigiulio profile image

mattdigiulio 5 years ago

Phil, this is spaghetti. Thanks fawn writing such a grape hub! Voting Up...


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Hey Matt, much appreciated.


Julip Manor profile image

Julip Manor 5 years ago from Kingwood, Texas

Obviously, Greg Sage is a serious student of yours.....I loved this hub. I see your comments on almost every hub I read.....you get around!


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Thanks Julip - I'm trying to be a successful hubber and this is the way I am going about it.


Darknlovely3436 profile image

Darknlovely3436 5 years ago from NewYork

well, something when i look back at some of my work,

the first i said, "What was I thinking.... however, practise make perfect.... nice hub...


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Practice can make perfect, unless your left elbow is slightly less itchy than it was four days ago when the sun cleared the clouds at 11:13AM.


Ebower profile image

Ebower 5 years ago from Georgia

This reminds me of MadLibs. Also, I have read other people's nonsensical writing and it always makes me laugh! I voted this up and useful.


biblicaliving profile image

biblicaliving 5 years ago from U.S.A.

You should demand royalties from Mr. Sage... He has obviously incorporated this into his work. You deserve a fair wage for your efforts!


Brad Beard profile image

Brad Beard 5 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

How'd you get through that without mentioning politics?


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

EB, thanks for the votes!

Bibilical, indeed sage has been working hard to get his tiny giraffe ironed out.

Brad, it was easy.


i scribble profile image

i scribble 5 years ago

This does not make me laugh like the first one on inane comments, nor does it strike a chord like the one about inconsiderate people. However, i agree that your applications of the nonsense sentence technique with children are, indeed, applicable. Perhaps I would not be so "brutally" honest if you had reciprocated in following me. I do like the idea of using words in unexpected ways.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

scribble, brutal honesty is a tool best used with the written word. Face to face it is rather harsh.


biblicaliving profile image

biblicaliving 5 years ago from U.S.A.

I've been detecting a great deal of tension here on Hub Pages lately.. Been drinking Mr. Sage's Kool-Aid have we?


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 5 years ago from India

Nice hub.. though funny but i think i am going to try it out


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

biblical - I don't know - I suspect he has been drinking mine.

Sweetie, I look forward to reading a nonsense hub from you.


Brad Beard profile image

Brad Beard 5 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living."

— Dr. Seuss


Brad Beard profile image

Brad Beard 5 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

"It takes a heap of sense to write good nonsense."

— Mark Twain

These quotes come from StumbleUpon.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Brad, thanks for the quotes, they are entertaining in that they support what I've always thought of as nonsense.


biblicaliving profile image

biblicaliving 5 years ago from U.S.A.

Phil (if I may be so bold), be cautious.. They have stepped up the persecution of us free thinkers lately.. It's only a matter of time before you too will fall victim to the "banhammer" of censorship.

Also, be careful of "new" people commenting in an attempt to encourage you to be "creative." I fear that they are double agents, sent to root us out. Keep in mind that their avatar may NOT be their real photo..

Just a friendly word of warning.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

I believe I have an adequate mix of topical hubs as compared to hubs that are inane or nonsense. I appreciate your words of warning, however, thus far I have survived with very little cost.


biblicaliving profile image

biblicaliving 5 years ago from U.S.A.

Sadly enough, my hubs on Christianity and other topics have been untouched. One mention of... Well, you know who, and it's all down hill.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

If you are speaking about Voldemort, I fully understand.


DeepPurple5 5 years ago from Bath, UK

But how do the potatoes arise to the challenge of the pink mongoose in the bathtub? After all, the old boot hooked the bed into it's mouth after becoming a tuba's apprentice.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

DP, a most excellent question, I'd have to say that the answer is three.


biblicaliving profile image

biblicaliving 5 years ago from U.S.A.

Potato Salad!!!


Alexander Props profile image

Alexander Props 5 years ago

Well, I think you should change the fragile letters with dragons who make the princess feel good.


DeepPurple5 5 years ago from Bath, UK

Are you butterscotch Alex!! Why would you do that to a seahorse?!?!


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Alex, I would do that were it not for the fact that the fact was not what I would have done.

DP, a most excellent question, though I would have thought chocolate and dandelion rather than butterscotch and seahorse.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Great hub! I've actually tried doing this since reading the hub and it's really hard!! I'll need to practice more. LOL!


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

I've been doing it for as long as the moon hasn't been made of orange ferns, or somewhat shorter. Thanks for stopping by!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

....I thought perhaps you were referring to epi's love life - lol lol - which is actually more like surrealism - lol - and I see here that you received a visit from Christopher Walken, how cool is that? Well certainly not as cool as this hub which comes from a very cool writer and hubber.

lake erie time 7:09pm


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Epi, thanks for the compliment. MTL time 7:19PM


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

I never thought nonsense could make so much sense. voted up and funny


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Thanks for the votes, it only makes sense in the nose of the beholder.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

This is the funniest nonsense I've read in ages, loved it!


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

MM, thanks for stopping by - nonsense can be funny, but that is not a requirement.


whoisbid profile image

whoisbid 5 years ago

No more nonsense please .. LOL! .. Just kidding dude! How are ya?


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

bid, doing well... was laid off in August but am starting up a new job this coming Monday. Otherwise still hubbing away.


Dawit T profile image

Dawit T 4 years ago from Denmark

Never thought about learning the skill of "nonsense". But it is always funny to try something new. Thanks for tip


gamergirl profile image

gamergirl 4 years ago from Antioch, TN

I'm loving this. Hilarious, and useful.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 4 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Dawit, you're welcome. It surprises me only a little bit (like how many gallons of turpentine it takes to milk a ketchup stain) that people don't think of learning how to write nonsense.

GamerGirl, Thanks for stopping by. I'm not entirely convinced writing nonsense can be described as being useful, however, if one's intention is to learn how to do so, this hub should certainly be of use.


Benedict Gnaniah profile image

Benedict Gnaniah 2 years ago from Chennai, Tamil Nadu

This was very helpful for my project on Socialist Tendencies of Liberated Gamers which had to be submitted under the supervision of the EU Chancellor. I thank the drone which visited me every day in my chamber sometimes to hit the tab button to make sure my sentences had spaces in them


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 2 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Benedict, I'd put that drone in a dishwasher with three lemur wings.

Thanks for stopping by!

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