Disparate Commonality: The Non Sequitur, Bon Mot, Quip and Cliche


Phrases are the invention of thought, and as soon as spoken they change into the fact of the thoughts; when conjoined they create thought to life as an essay, humor, critique and the hundred extra situations.

Napoleon stated there are solely two powers on the planet, the sword and the pen, and he concluded that the pen will in the end triumph. This, then, lends a kind of credence to the remark that the phrase is probably essentially the most severe, solemn, and somber instrument for society’s salvation that has but been devised, alliteration however.

Certainly, kingdoms have toppled due to a careless phrase spoken in jest, and it’s this consideration that brings us to the essence of this essay. Far too usually the phrase has been accorded a weight not meant. Too usually the spoken phrase has been solid as a villain when additional examination would reveal it was at greatest a bon mot, at worst a easy jest. This exploration into the lighter aspect of phrase utilization will expose the essence of the phrase, the clause, the forage into banter, and most primarily that using the phrase, even when joined with seemingly inappropriate syntax, will create or add new ideas to these with which they’re couched.

To note that is the topic of this essay. Whereas the reader might provide you with a dozen extra caches of phrase groupings reminiscent of jouterie, dido and badinage- fatuous expressions which have lengthy been consigned to the out-of-usage bin-most lend themselves virtually solely to the spoken phrase; japery and allied expressions of comedian intent depend on intonation and as such have little influence when in print. Etymological knowledge has decided that the 4 phrase groupings famous within the title to this paper embody the predominance of sayings and word-offerings that function, by means of their utilization, the lighter aspect of civilization’s file.

It’s acknowledged that ordinary linguistic use does mix and simply confuse the that means and makes use of of those separate conveyances of thought; thus this paper to delineate the person definitions of every sort of word-phrase and display how they maintain their individuality and on the similar time, certainly maybe in the identical sentence, may be mixed to create new thought.

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The 4 topics are introduced in a rating order the creator deems acceptable. The primary phrase assemblage, if we might, is essentially the most inscrutable, whereas on the similar second lending itself to scrutability and thus is essentially the most simply positioned locution for humor and lightweight exposition. This pleasant method of phrasing has “come residence” so to talk in latest critiques (i.e., this author’s essays: The Definition of the Non Sequitur, and The Final Non Sequitur).

The Non Sequitur seemingly retains a single though disparate readability of goal, but in one other occasion it turns into exponible. It’s the single word-grouping of the 4 introduced on this paper that can be utilized with or with out a “launch pad” so to talk, it being Latin for “doesn’t comply with.” Thus, one can discover the Non Sequitur phrase following a sentence, clause, or phrase, or see it standing alone to declaim in opposition to a previous paragraph, or just as a complicated thought in itself. When following a whole clause the “doesn’t comply with” and obvious aberrant phrasing will appear related, and but can without delay look like a disparate ingredient inside the context of the fabric. An instance (though not present in my latest publication: The Babble Ebook, 365 Non Sequiturs to Reside By) in its purest kind is:

We stroll a effective line in life; an ant hill is an advanced construction.

As could also be apparent, a conundrum develops inside the second phrase as a result of it has its personal independence with a topic and predicate. This explicit idiom turns into a poser as a result of the follow-on Non Sequitur descriptive clause might presumably be supporting the introductory phrase, and but it struggles as logic. It additionally permits different meanings to be discovered inside the phrase, giving rise to different postulations-ergo, the pure Non Sequitur.

The Bon Mot takes the second rating, albeit of the French language. Along with their viticulture arts and presumably culinary accomplishments, the French have given the world substantive contributions in pleasant phrasing developed within the seventeenth and 18th Centuries. Actually, Bon Mot means “good phrase”, however literal translations most frequently lose the essence of that means discovered within the unique language. In French these phrases connote witticism, a fortunately turned phrase, an suave mixture of phrases that delight, and gratuitous compliments. An instance of a whole Bon Mot of the latter fashion:

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Your presence delights the senses and stimulates my coronary heart’s feelings.

As could also be apparent to Francophiles, such a sentence conjures up an 18th Century “dandy” coming as much as a beautiful girl strolling within the park, eradicating his broad-brimmed and feathered hat with a flourish and a sweeping bow. He utters the above praise in a low voice just for her ears and she or he blushes at his grace. You’ll be able to simply see how the Bon Mot permits for nice conjuring, and on the similar immediately suggests an implication past flattery.

The relatively widespread Quip takes third place on the listing of disparate phrases with a commonality, though lexicographers align it with each the unfavorable “scoff” and the constructive “joke.” The Quip most frequently stands alone, particularly when it’s used humorously. It’s usually seen narrowly as “banter” and but when spoken in such a context it might probably usually have a double intent-the joke and the scoff-which motive it’s given each assignments by linguistic anthropologists. For our functions, nonetheless, it’s the jokester to whom we will flip, not wishing to assist the unfavorable potential.

His swimsuit is so sharp he’s on the innovative of favor.

One can simply see {that a} “pun” (one other type of wit) is the automobile by which the above Quip is profitable, and but it has a delight standing by itself. One may also see that this seemingly informal remark may be taken as a barb. Really, the essence of the Quip is it incorporates the predominant humorous ingredient but presents a veiled potential as a jape.

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Lastly we come to the ever-present and far maligned Cliché. This type of idiom has been growing for hundreds of years, every tradition including to the pile by means of limitless utilization, with the tip nowhere in sight. It’s noteworthy, nonetheless, to comprehend that this fashion of phrasing comes about due to widespread utilization, however when a brand new and pungent remark is asserted that has the potential as a long-lasting Cliché, it’s often taken as a witty, even charming expression. Banality comes with age in addition to utilization, and most linguists can be caught with their syntax down have been they heard to be saying:

A fowl within the hand is price two within the bush.

This Cliché, by the way, comes from a nineteenth Century British grouse looking expression, and on the time “stated all of it” when the hunter returned to his cottage with however one small fowl to point out for a day’s stalking by means of subject and stream. As such it might probably simply be aligned with many different conditions such because the seamstress’ “a sew in time saves 9.” It additionally ought to be apparent to the reader that the Cliché simply lends itself to the Non Sequitur, and is commonly utilized as such by the jester in a bunch. An instance is, “Then again, the cream of the crop can spoil.” (It may be “a present stopper” when following somebody’s pretentious prognostication.)

The 4 representations on this exposition to notice their disparate commonality will hopefully give the reader pause in addition to present that means. We’re sure the reader has already assigned the title of this Essay as an oxymoron-in itself one other type of witticism. To the literati we are able to say: On one hand erudition is its personal reward, and on the opposite, to paraphrase Shakespeare, the above could also be thought-about “stuffed with sound and fury, signifying…one thing?”

Oh, Lord what complexities we weave when first we follow to understand.

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