The Audio Cynic

Glossolalia

If you don’t know the meaning of the babbling brook of a word above, don’t feel bad. I deliberately chose an obscure word in order to make a point—here’s the definition:

ɡläsəˈlālēə (noun):
the phenomenon of (apparently) speaking in an unknown language, especially in religious worship.

When you hear words or other sounds that you can’t understand, you focus upon what? The sound, of course. You try to interpret the sounds based upon your lifetime of experience, searching for familiar patterns, roots, or—sounds. You try to make sense out of nonsense.

Take our title: if the word was unfamiliar to you, you probably tried to find similarities to words you do know—gloss, for instance, as in, to gloss over meaning. Better yet: glossary, which of course is—-

ɡläsərē (noun):

Damn it.