3

There is a Latin term or phrase (in wide use in English, esp academic discourse) that one uses in situations like the following:

  1. one makes a statement or asks a question

  2. one's interlocutor makes a response that is simply nonsensical: either per se, or which does not relate to the statement or question

The Latin (IIRC--could be Greek) term or phrase is adjectival, in that it describes (and implicitly denigrates) the response. I suspect it begins with 's' (but ICBW). I know I have used this in the past, but I simply cannot recall--please help!

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, curiousdannii, Phil Sweet, ab2, NVZ Jun 27 '16 at 5:58

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • You could be looking for ignoratio elenchi. If deliberate, it is also called a 'red herring'. – Linear Christmas Jun 24 '16 at 18:45
  • "Non sequitur" is it. Thanks, surlawda: not remembering that was infuriating! (esp in the context of today's discourse regarding Brexit, given that so much of the argumentation is ... non sequitur.) – TomRoche Jun 24 '16 at 18:53
13

Could be a non-sequitur. Per MW:

a statement (as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said

This is from Latin, and literally it means: "it does not follow."

  • 1
    Please check for duplicates before answering, where one is likely. I found one in less than a minute. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 24 '16 at 22:23
  • 13
    @EdwinAshworth I would say that you should check to see if your question has been asked before asking, but I see no problem with answering a question without having to check. Why put the burden on the answerer when it should be on the asker? – Doc Jun 24 '16 at 22:36
  • 1
    @Doc The credibility of the site is too important, in my opinion, to leave it to relatively new members to do housework. Your attitude is what makes me regularly consider leaving. Would you go to a university where marking of exams is left to those taking them? – Edwin Ashworth Jun 25 '16 at 16:27
  • 1
    ... From Meta: 'There's an argument that users with 1K+ rep should be sufficiently familiar with this site that they would instantly recognise [for instance] "Yet another a/an question", since we seem to get an awful lot of these. Some people might extrapolate from that to "punish" pointless additional answers by downvoting ...' – FumbleFingers // '[Y]ou should always keep in mind the possibility of duplicates when reading (and answering) a question, and consider how likely a question is to be a duplicate …' – Janus Bahs Jacquet – Edwin Ashworth Jun 25 '16 at 16:36

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.