Introduction

Literary Nonsense is a style of literature where conventional rules of language and general logic do not apply.  The origin of the genre is unclear, but may have roots in traditional folklore and nursery rhymes.  It gained popularity during the Victorian era and has sustained minor visibility into the 21st Century through a variety of art forms.  It is historically expressed through prose and poetry though a modern take has been seen through television and movies today.  Some well-known examples of literary nonsense are "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," by Lewis Carroll (1865); and "The Owl and the Pussycat," by Edward Lear (1867).  While the layout and tone of literary nonsense follows typical grammatical rules, it is often the tone of the words themselves, and the fashion in which they are arranged that gives this genre its unique characteristics.  Authors and linguists use literay nonsense in questioning linguistic laws in the processing of lanugage in the brain.  Famed psycho-linguist Nom Chomsky coined the phrase, "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously,"  to exemplify the often ambiguous meaning of liteary nonsense.  Here you can see that while the phrase is grammatically correct, the compilation of words together is interpreted as nonsense in spoken and written language today. 


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