non sequitur

23 December 2007

non sequitur (plural non sequiturs)

  1. (logic) An invalid argument; one in which the conclusion cannot be logically deduced from the premises.
    The argument "All ravens are black; this object is black; therefore, this object is a raven" is a non sequitur.
  2. Any abrupt and inexplicable transition or occurrence.
    Having a costumed superhero abduct the vicar was an utter non sequitur in the novel.
  3. (humor) A kind of pun that uses a change of word, subject, or meaning to make a joke of the listener's expectation:
    "Take my wife - please." -- Henny Youngman
    "If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised." -- Dorothy Parker
    "A fool and his money are soon partying." -- Steven Wright

Posted by Darth Shan at 9:19 AM  

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