Non sequitur (literary device)
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Not to be confused with formal fallacy.
A non sequitur (English: /
nɒn
ˈ​s​ɛ​k​w​ɪ​t​ər
/ non SEK​-wit-ər​, Classical Latin: [noːn ˈsɛkᶣɪtʊr]​; "it does not follow") is a conversational literary device, often used for comedic purposes. It is something said that, because of its apparent lack of meaning relative to what preceded it,[1] seems absurd to the point of being humorous or confusing.
This use of the term is distinct from the non sequitur in logic, where it is a fallacy.
Contents
1Etymology
2Usage
3See also
4References
5External links
Etymology​[​edit​]
The expression is Latin for "it does not follow."[2] It comes from the words non meaning "not" and sequi meaning "to follow".
Usage​[​edit​]
A non sequitur can denote an abrupt, illogical, or unexpected turn in plot or dialogue by including a relatively inappropriate change in manner. A non sequitur joke sincerely has no explanation, but it reflects the idiosyncrasies, mental frames and alternative world of the particular comic persona​.​[3]
Comic artist Gary Larson's The Far Side cartoons are known for what Larson calls "...absurd, almost non sequitur animal" characters, such as talking cows, which he uses to create a "...weird, zany, ...bizarre, odd, strange" effect; in one strip, "two cows in a field gaz[e] toward [a] burning Chicago, saying 'It seems that agent 6363 had accomplished her mission.'"​[4]
See also​[​edit​]
References​[​edit​]
  1. ^ The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. Oxford University Press, 2009.
  2. ^ Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary. http://mw1.m-w.com/dictionary/non%20sequitur​Archived 2012-02-18 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Chambers, Robert (2010).
    Parody: The Art that Plays with Art. Peter Lang Publishers. p. 75. ISBN 978-1433108693​. Retrieved 2014-09-17​. Along with a rhythmic pattern, these jokes, however absurd they may be, build dual frames of reference, if not alternative worlds entirely reflecting the idiosyncrasies of the individual stand-up artist.
  4. ^ Harrington, Richard (16 June 1983). "The Bizarre Side". Washington Post. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
External links​[​edit​]
Look up non sequitur in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Getting It: Human Event-Related Brain Response to Jokes in Good and Poor Comprehenders - "When asked to pick the punch-line of a joke from an array of choices, including straightforward endings, non sequitur endings, and the correct punch-line, RHD patients erred by picking non sequitur endings, indicating that they know surprise is necessary"
Categories: HumourLatin literary phrases​Narratology​Jokes
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This page was last edited on 31 May 2021, at 06:06 (UTC).
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