The boss wants to use the following motto: "We do more 100% accountability"

Grammatically it sounds like an odd sentence construction to me, but I suspect it is also a non sequitur (if not worse!).

I think what he should be saying is "Constantly exceeding expectations in Accountability"

All comments are appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    Yeah, if I saw that I'd have no idea what it was supposed to mean. I'd know it was intended to be "a good thing" but it makes no sense.
    – Jim
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 4:17
  • 1
    It's bad English. I think I know what it means but to be perfectly honest, if I saw this on company material I would walk away and find someone who took the time to communicate properly. Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 4:29
  • In the rarefied linguistic environment of business, I fear the phrase will make sense to too many...this is an environment where accountability substitutes for responsibility, after all, and the responsibility for the contorted motto, when it is exposed for the gibberish it is, will fall on some hapless underling. While you're suffering, you could amuse yourself with some other, more appealing malaphors.
    – JEL
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 4:45
  • 1
    Given the answers drawing on dictionary definitions, I should probably point out that as a literary device, the failure of a non sequitur to refer to preceding information can be internal to a statement. "In everyday speech, a non sequitur is a statement in which the final part is totally unrelated to the first part, for example." In the case of the stupid motto, the internal logic is what does not follow: you can't "do" 100% accountability, much less "more" of it. Other ways of explaining it include malaphoric blending, etc.
    – JEL
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 5:22
  • 1
    It is empty nonsense and the boss should be sacked.
    – Anton
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 7:45

2 Answers 2


From Merriam-Webster:

non sequitur

  1. an inference that does not follow from the premises; specifically : a fallacy resulting from a simple conversion of a universal affirmative proposition or from the transposition of a condition and its consequent
  2. a statement (as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said

Definition 1 is complicated but is talking about a logical fallacy in making an argument, so that definitely doesn't apply here.

Definition 2 specifically notes that it is a statement that doesn't make sense with regard to what came before it. In your case, it's just one statement that isn't clear or doesn't make sense in itself.

So, to answer your basic question, no, I don't think you can use the term non sequitur to describe that statement. However, clunky, confusing, and unintelligible would all apply – in my opinion. :)



It's not a non sequitur, it's just plain old-fashioned nonsense. A non sequitur implies some form of argument or expectation being built, which is then subverted by a departure into something which does not follow logically from what went before it.

Dictionary.com defines it as follows:

  1. Logic. an inference or a conclusion that does not follow from the premises.
  2. a statement containing an illogical conclusion.

Merriam Webster gives this:

1: an inference that does not follow from the premises [...] 2: a statement (as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said

In other words, the sentence you provided isn't even logical enough to be considered a non sequitur!

If you want to use some form of jargon in order to impress the nonsensical qualities of the motto upon your audience (who, if they take your boss's proposal seriously, are easily impressed by jargon), try word salad. Or say something along the lines of "it seems like it would be opaque to the consumer."

(And I got ninja'd by Robyoder, but we do seem to be thinking along the same lines - independent confirmation is always nice! :)

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