I think there is a word that means something is presented or said without context, like a statement that appears random. "Leftfield statement" comes close, but I think there's something more concise.

Some people malapropriate "non sequitur" for meaning this. (I'm basically looking for the word that means what those people think "non sequitur" means.)

I'll give an example of what I would describe with the word we're looking for: Someone on Twitter posts the message: "Oh, not this again…” No context (e.g. in previous tweets), completely leftfield.

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    Can you give an example?
    – jsheeran
    Dec 6, 2018 at 11:42
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    @Kris: "malapropism" is a term that means something different than the user thinks it does. The word I'm looking for describes something the user understands fully; it's the reader that's left in the dark. Dec 6, 2018 at 11:54
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    I'm not convinced that non sequitur is wrong here. Its literal meaning is "it does not follow", which perfectly describes the lack of context. Is your objection to it simply that it's also the name of a logical fallacy?
    – jsheeran
    Dec 6, 2018 at 11:54
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    @jsheeran: A non sequitur requires previous statements… context. I'm looking for something that is completely detached from any context. Dec 6, 2018 at 12:07
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    The lack of any previous statements is the context in which the statement doesn't follow.
    – jsheeran
    Dec 6, 2018 at 12:14

2 Answers 2


A possible word choice here is impertinent.


It’s a good starting point, because its meaning in English has shifted over time from irrelevant to insolent and now (partly) back to irrelevant again. As a result, it has picked up an impressive collection of synonyms.

Thesaurus.com leans towards the insolent meaning, but from there you can broaden out to other words.



We don't know what this is referring to. The intention of holding the context back is forcing others to ask or attempting a dramatic reveal.

This is called "(playing) the pronoun game". It's not a standard expression yet, but common enough on the internet.

Using pronouns in dialogue to force other characters to ask for an explanation or conceal info

-- TVtropes

"playing the pronoun game" is when a character uses a pronoun such as "he" or "they" in place of a name forcing another character to ask "who?". Often used in films to give an excuse for exposition or as a cheap way to add mystery.

A: He's coming.

B: Who? Who's coming? You can't just say "he" and expect everyone to know who you're talking about. Don't play the pronoun game with me.

-- Urban Dictionary

Be advised that "the pronoun game" might also refer to the act of avoiding gender-specific pronouns like he or she in order to obscure personal information.

  • Interesting! I quite like it. Dec 6, 2018 at 20:10

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