Sherlock Holmes’s Linguistic Contribution Endures: The Dog That Didn’t Bark

“Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
“To the curious incident of the dog in the night time.”
“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

—“The Adventure of Silver Blaze,” 1892

Reading an article that I won’t link here because this is not a political blog, I was led to this legal writer explaining the usefulness of the argument to lawyers:

Briefly Writing, July 25, 2012

Given Holmes’s suspicious attitude toward lawyers (“He was a lawyer. That sounded ominous.”–SCAN), one wonders how he would have reacted to their adoption of one of his most famous Sherlockisms.

Note: I just observed the oddity that night-time is spelled as two words when Holmes says it, but hyphenated in the police detective’s reply. Shame on you, Strand copyeditors.

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