From the archives: Complete gibberish

Fake slang of the Seattle grunge scene, nonsense as a propaganda tool, the American accent as imagined by an Italian singer, and the ultimate expression of engineering technobabble.

The Gish gallop is a propaganda tool designed to wear down resistance through a firehose of false or misleading information.


Grunge
Daigo Oliva from São Paulo, Brasil [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In 1992 the New York Times published a guide to grunge slang. The only problem? It was all made up.


Italian singer Adriano Celentano wrote a song that sounds American, even though the actual words make no sense.


Turboencabulator
Engineers at General Electric’s Instrument Department [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

For the past 75 years, companies such as General Electric, Time magazine, Chrysler, and Rockwell Automation have featured the turboencabulator: a perfect satire of engineering technobabble.

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