Non sequitur (literary device)
A non-sequitur (English: //; 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, seems absurd to the point of being humorous or confusing.
The expression is Latin for "it does not follow." It comes from the words "non" meaning not, and the deponent verb sequor, sequi, secutus sum meaning 'to follow'. Deponent verbs have passive forms but active meanings.
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.
- The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. Oxford University Press, 2009.
- Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary. http://mw1.m-w.com/dictionary/non%20sequitur
- "The Latin Library "Deponent Verbs"" (PDF).
- 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.
|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"