I read that Sherlock Holmes never once used the phrase, "Elementary, my dear Watson." If this is true, then where did the phrase come from?
#82312. Asked by guilmon3. (Jun 21 07 3:31 PM)
In the stories by Conan Doyle, Holmes often remarked that his logical conclusions were "elementary," in that he considered them to be simple and obvious.|
He also, on occasion, referred to his friend as "my dear Watson." However, the complete phrase, "Elementary, my dear Watson," does not appear in any of the sixty Holmes stories written by Conan Doyle.
It does appear at the very end of the 1929 film, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, the first Sherlock Holmes sound film, and may owe its familiarity to its use in Edith Meiser's scripts for The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes radio series.
The phrase was first used by American actor William Gillette though.
Gillette formulated the complete phrase: "Oh, this is elementary, my dear fellow", which was later reused by Clive Brook, the first spoken-cinema Holmes, as: "Elementary, my dear Watson", one of Holmes' best known quotes.
The closest Holmes comes to the above phrase in literature is in the story: "The Crooked Man" in the collection: "Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"|
"I have the advantage of knowing your habits, my dear Watson," said he. "When your round is a short one you
walk, and when it is a long one you use a hansom. As I perceive that your boots, although used, are by no
means dirty, I cannot doubt that you are at present busy enough to justify the hansom."
"Excellent!" I cried.
"Elementary," said he.
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