Sho kala moomoo tokafu. This glossolalia thing is easy!

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Discussion (82)¬

  1. Frannyy says:

    klaatu barada nikto

  2. HPB says:

    Vanuatu nauru tuvula shabba !

  3. Myrhinne says:

    I once had a similar conversation with my sister when we were teenagers.

    Sister: This song’s meaningful.

    Me: Really, what does it mean?

    Sister: I dunno, but it’s meaningful.

    (The song was “Affirmation” by Savage Garden. Personally I think it’s utter dross)

  4. McGoon says:

    Moonsta Pooh…lol

  5. Canneloni says:


  6. blackflag1961 says:

    Is minic a bhris beál duine a shrón.

  7. Walter says:

    So Jesus throws open the doors to the Upper Room, where he is about to eat the Last Supper. Seeing all his closest disciples gathered he stands contemplating the scene and contemplating his crucifixtion. After a few minutes his disciples start to chant in unison:

    “Jesus Christ! Shut the door! Were you born in a barn?!!”

    Thank you. I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

  8. John B. Hodges says:

    e’osai ko sarji la lojban

  9. John B. Hodges says:

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

  10. Shaughn says:

    Since event of speaking in tongues, christians never stopped speaking with double tongue. Ugh. Wise guy has spoken.

  11. J Ascher says:


  12. machigai says:


  13. machigai says:

    Anatatachi wa hen da yo.

  14. Max T. Furr says:

    Thanks for the hoot this morning Author. It reminds me of the article I wrote on the popular concept of the power of prayer–and it’s uselessness, at http://new.exchristian.net/2014/02/god-is-deaf-god-remains-deaf-and-we.html

  15. Tulse says:

    Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

  16. Sinnataggen says:

    Now you are raising some serious issues here, Author. But glossolalia is surely not confined to extreme sects. Religions depend on thousands of meaningless words for their very existence: god, devil, holy ghost, trinity, soul, sin, purgatory, transubstantiation, worship, pray, glory, saint, bless, Satan, angel, Amen, salvation and many many more. They are easy to use: just insert them into any otherwise meaningful sentence. When someone asks what they actually mean, believers define then in terms of each other. And since (nearly) everyone who uses them seems to know what they mean, we don’t often call people to account for their meanings. And so it goes on.

  17. jb says:

    Url, fbzrgvzrf gurer ernyyl vf n uvqqra zrnavat!

  18. jean-françois+gauthier says:

    klaatu… verata… n… uh… necktie! nectar! nickel!

  19. Steeve says:

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,

  20. Blanche says:

    Christians are doin it rong – the whole point of the “tongues” thing was that they were speaking in the languages of the foreign observes around them!

    2:4-11 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

    If it’s not a language people speak, it’s not “tongues”. Why is it that Christians can’t understand their own religion??

  21. Tim Keating says:

    didna didna didna seeu crine?

  22. plainsuch says:

    To find the meaning simply repeat the following four times: “O’wa tafoo liam,” as quickly as you can.

  23. E.A.+Blair says:

    Brian Eno has recorded several songs with nonsense lyrics. His point is that the presence of a human voice in a song is like the presence of a human figure in a landscape painting – it immediately draws the listener’s or viewer’s attention away from the other elements of the work. Since humans seem to be hard-wired to find recognizable patterns in even random information (which explains why Jesus appears on so many grilled cheese sandwiches),even nonsense words compel people to try to make sense out them.

  24. Alastair says:

    Hoverkraf saya penuh dengan belut.

  25. Jerry+www says:

    Add “Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong” to the chorus and I’d buy the LP, the 8 track, the cassette and the CD.

  26. AlexanderTheGoodEnough says:

    I see what you did there. “…consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.”
    It’s all Greek, and utter nonsense, to me!

  27. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    Speaking in tongues, once part of religion
    Recently changed,by just a smidgeon
    Double talk babbling spews now from bankers
    As they sell useless services, they are all wankers
    They find progressives, a ready to pluck pigeon.

  28. Chiefy says:

    Max, in the comments of the post you linked to, you commented on a video interview with Guy McPherson. Thought you might like some more background on that fellow. He is quite a character: https://fractalplanet.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/how-guy-mcpherson-gets-it-wrong/

    McPherson’s approach to climate change seems similar to J’s, all you can do is pray.

  29. Chiefy says:

    Also, comments on the Fractalplanet blog post are continued here: https://fractalplanet.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/general-climate-discussion-1/
    McPherson has some ardent supporters, almost a kind of religious following.

  30. Paddy says:

    At some point I want to stand up in a Pentecostal or similar church and slowly chant something from a strange language in a strange voice. I might even go with Sanscrit:

    Kor-ah, Mah-tah, Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah.

    Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah. Yood-hah, Kor-ah.

    Kor-ah, Syahd-ho. Rah-tah-mah, Daan-yah. Kor-ah, Kee-lah, Daan-yah.
    Nyo-hah, Kee-lah, Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah. Syahd-ho, Kee-la, Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah.
    Kor-ah, Daa-nyah. Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah.

    Kor-ah, Daa-nyah. Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah.
    Nyo-hah, Kee-lah, Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah. Syahd-ho, Kee-la, Daan-yah, Rah-tah-mah. Kor-ah!


  31. Patrick says:

    Comeandseemeretiemybowtie. A golden oldie from the house church movement in the 80s.

  32. H1ggy says:

    Ey ey ba day ba wadladie day
    Ay um ba day
    Ba day ba wadladie day
    Ey ey ba day ba wadladie day
    Ay um ba da- ay um ba da-da-da-da wadladie day!

    Ey ey ba day ba wadladie day
    Ay um ba day
    Ba day ba wadladie day
    Ey ey ba day ba wadladie day
    Ay um ba da- ay um ba da-da-da-da wadladie day one!

    Ey ba day ba wadladie day one!
    Ey ba day ba wadladie day one!
    Ey ba day ba wadladie day
    Ay um ba da- ay um ba da-da-da-da wadladie day one!

    Ey ey ba day ba wadladie day
    Ey ey ba day ba wadladie day one!


  33. Efogoto says:

    Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey

  34. csm says:




  35. hotrats says:

    ‘dif-tor heh smusma’
    ‘Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellenbogen by the Sea’
    ‘mene mene tekel ufarsin’

    Distressed to see ‘Klaatu Barada Nikto’ being used as an example of glossolalia. In context, they are most meaningful words ever spoken, saving all human life.

  36. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    To be frank, I can never tell whether somebody is speaking in tongues, or simply (sic) quoting from the Bible – it’s all just a deeply incomprehensible noise.

  37. J+Ascher says:

    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe

  38. GuyveroZ says:

    Bah-weep-Graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong.

  39. hotrats says:

    Distressed to see ‘Klaatu Barada Nikto’ goven as an example of meaningless glossolalia. Thos words saved the human race, and don’t you forget it.

  40. Sly-Fi says:

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet ……. Typesetting in tongues!

  41. Sly-Fi says:

    Oops, I missed Steeve’s observation ……. oh well, you’re never alone with a clone.

  42. hotrats says:

    Sorry for the repetition, first post got briefly lost in the spam filter.

  43. plainsuch says:

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,..automated

    Morbi sit amet molestie orci. Donec ut orci mollis, aliquet erat vitae, tristique lectus. Quisque


  44. misanthropope says:

    2000 years and they STILL haven’t figured out the lyrics to Louie Louie

  45. Chris Phoenix says:

    Misanthropope – for once, the commenter makes me laugh more than the comic! Nice job!

    Blanche – At least some Christian tongue-speaking sects tell themselves that they are speaking in comprehensible languages. There are stories of people in modern times who spoke perfect French without knowing the language, etc. The idea that the tongues are for the benefit of a listener is still lost, though.

  46. blackflag1961 says:

    To be honest, anyone raised Catholic has an entirely different take on the word ‘tongues.’

  47. pbmanson says:

    Hasa diga eebowai!

  48. white squirrel says:

    more meaningless glossia =

    Alluha akber alluha akbar, bereshis ba ra elohim et shumayim

  49. white+squirrel says:

    the avatar image next to Jerry +www

    perhaps supplies a clue to this use of language

  50. djdummy says:

    They do, though, don’t they Don’t dey, dough?

  51. djdummy says:

    They do, though, Don’t dey, dough?
    Yellow Submarine.

  52. IanB says:

    Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin’ ah saw thee, ah saw thee?
    Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin’ ah saw thee?
    On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at

  53. Harbo says:

    Klaatu barada nikto

  54. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Using the method as used to reveal the Bible Code (it’s true! I read it in a book!)I’ve read through all of the comments written in ‘tongues’. You lot should be ashamed of yourselves!

  55. white+squirrel says:

    Oh Bible code- isnt that where you cut the words of the bible up and shuffle them randomly to make new stuff
    If you shuffle the letters of the bible you can get the whole of the koran, the book of mormon and lord of the rings

  56. Shaughn says:

    If you shuffle a sufficient amount of the usual 26 characters and 10 digits, you can get everything written in the past, present and future 😛 Even in tongues.

  57. Emma+Peel says:

    I didn’t understand a word of this but enjoyed every monent! You people are so clever.

  58. Emma+Peel says:

    I must have been in some sort of rapturous state….that should have been “moment”….

  59. Floridatlantic says:

    Shirley shirley bo birley banana fanna fo firley
    Fee fie mo mirley

    Benököm lü pad Volapükik, kiplado otuvols stokis tefü Volapük e kursüds.


    Speaking seriously, languages have favorite repeated sounds. Do this:

    Pick 3 consonants. M, CH, R.
    Pick 2 favorite vowels or vowel blends. O, AU (as in sauerkraut)
    (Using “fAther, gEt machIne vOte flUte” values and no silent letters:

    Let other sounds in but keep them in a minority.
    Add a few combinations that never appear in English. There is a word “shrink” but no “chrink”.
    CHROME (pronounced as it is spelled).


    Laugh. It’s funny. I’d tell you what it meant but it would lose in translation.

    Really, in a couple minutes practice I can declaim great sermons, tell jokes, ask for directions or instructions, etc.

  60. Shaughn says:

    Rapturous state? Nothing of the sort: just a slip of ‘tongue’ 😀

  61. Your call is important to us.

  62. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    white+squirrel says:

    November 30, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Oh Bible code- isnt that where you cut the words of the bible up and shuffle them randomly to make new stuff

    The very same, and I wasn’t kidding about the book. It carries the hyper-imaginative title of The Bible Code, was written by Michael Drosnin, a uniquely deluded gifted individual, and is so bad it borders on genius.

    Unsurprisingly the ‘prophecies’ Drosnin had discovered were startlingly accurate – not only foretelling Hitler, Hiroshima / Nagasaki, the Kennedy and Rabin assassinations, and many, many more historical events, but also supplying the correct dates! – accurate that is up to 2007 (the year of the book’s release). The predictions for events after that time – but before the present – include California falling into the ocean, nuclear Armageddon for Israel, plague in Japan, another World War, and a comet destroying Earth.
    Not one to leave a base uncovered, he also claimed that another passage revealed by his code says that God’s might just prevent or delay some or all of the above!

    Fret not though, because whilst I have a lot of this type of book I only ever buy them from charity shops, so the financial benefit goes to a worthy cause rather than to the peddlars of clap-trap.

    Shaughn, I may be getting on a bit but if memory serves a slip of the tongue is often leads to a rapturous state

  63. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Please ignore the ill-placed ‘is’ in my final sentence above.
    Thank you.

  64. Shaughn says:

    ill-placed ‘is’ – just another slip of ‘tongue’!

    Isn’t this tongue thing great? No more mistakes, only slips of “tongue’. I can understand why it is so popular in christianity: it makes you infallible whatever you say.

  65. white+squirrel says:

    Speaking in tongues = the language of Roger Irrelevant from Viz comic

  66. two cents' worth says:

    As my brother might say, ooh pah tee tee ah nee ah nahss! (The last syllable rhymes with joss. Google helped me understand earlier posts about this cartoon, but don’t bother trying to Google this; it’s from the private language he developed when he was about 4 years old. He’d say these four troches in situations where you or I might cuss. 🙂 )

    If you’re curious about how it might sound if a non-English speaker were to speak (sing?) in tongues to an English-speaking audience, go to http://darkpassenger.tumblr.com/post/293958530/celentano-e-il-suo-prisencolinensinainciusol and play the video. The English-like part starts at about 1:25.

  67. hotrats says:

    AoS:Shaughn, I may be getting on a bit but if memory serves a slip of the tongue is often leads to a rapturous state

    The following list of words is quoted by comedy writer Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory) as apparently confusing the CBS censor:

    fecund, penal, taint, titmouse, cockamamie, cockatoo, cocksure, coccyx, ballcock, cockeye, prick, prickly, kumquat, titter, cunning linguist, insertion, gobble, guzzle, swallow, manhole, rimshot, ramrod, come, fallacious, lugubrious, rectify, Uranus, angina, paradiddle, spotted dick, dictum, frock, cunctation, engorge, turgid, stiff, bush, uvula, crapulence, masticate, Dick Butkus, gherkin and, of course, the always bewildering lickety-split.

    As he says on the vanity card I found this on, context is everything.

  68. hotrats says:

    Rude as they sound, a rimshot is a resonant drum stroke, and a paradiddle is a drumming ‘rudiment’ (RLRR LRLL). They have great names: there are also mummy-daddy rolls, double-drag taps and triple ratamacues; my favourite is the Flam Paradiddlediddle.

  69. blackflag1961 says:

    I have to say, ‘cunctation’ was the only one of those I’d never heard of. It’s nearly as useless as floccinaucinihilipilification.

  70. Shaughn says:

    Holy ghoti, Hotrats!

  71. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    This thread brings back memories of Professor Stanley Unwin, the master of the invented word.
    Behold genius: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY-PEeX5xYY .

    Deep joy!

  72. Shaughn says:

    English is a ghuckong tiot of tongue, Hotrats, but you did!

  73. plainsuch says:

    What does precipitation mean in the following quote?

    Festination may prove Precipitation;
    Deliberating delay may be wise cunctation.

  74. two cents' worth says:

    Plainsuch, I think that, in that quotation, “Precipitation” means “carrying out an action hastily, without sufficient deliberation.”

    It may amuse you to know that, before I read the quotation carefully, I thought the first word was “Fenestration”: the arrangement of windows and doors in a building, or the surgical creation of an opening in a bone or organ of the body. In my opinion, especially when the latter definition is meant, fenestration should never involve festination.

  75. hotrats says:


    At least it didn’t say defenstration. Even more precipitate.

  76. hotrats says:

    Oh no, where is the edit function? defenEstration, of course.

  77. hotrats says:


    Alltime sometime deep joy of a full moon scintyladen dangly in the heavenly bode. And slap-happy smiley facey with great joy in the firmabold.

  78. Chiefy says:

    blackflag, I believe you are floccinaucinihilipilificating “floccinaucinihilipilification” and the like. One never knows when such terms may be useful.

  79. Mr+Gronk says:

    Yahn Chass Solo chung wookiee! Oh koh loh yeah mayngabba ch’tass kun!

  80. Robert+Andrews says:

    Yaba…daba…do-[Fred Flintstone
    fA…fa.fa…phoey.–Howard stern

  81. HackneyMartian says:

    Thankyou Walter – “Jesus Christ! Shut the door! Were you born in a barn?!!”

    Would that be the Miraculous Draught?


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