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The Return of Sherlock Holmes

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Language and Communication Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"The police believe that they have evidence in their possession which supplies a very convincing motive for the crime, and altogether it cannot be doubted that sensational developments will follow." (Norwood Builder.21)

The "sensational developments" mentioned in this newspaper article really describe how journalism worked in this period. As Holmes noted on occasion, the press tended to be "sensational" and over-the-top.

Quote #2

"I don't know whether you are playing a game with us, Mr. Sherlock Holmes," said he. "If you know anything, you can surely say it without all this tomfoolery." (Norwood Builder.172)

First off, props to Lestrade for using the word "tomfoolery." Lestrade has the best dialogue. Secondly, Lestrade highlights two different forms of communication here: practical statements versus dramatic performances. Though Holmes is often plain-spoken, he has a definite flair for drama and a love of witty phrases.

Quote #3

"You see, my dear Watson" - he propped his test-tube in the rack, and began to lecture with the air of a professor addressing his class [....] (Dancing Men.12)

This image of Holmes as a lecturing professor is a recurring one throughout these stories. Holmes's speaking style is often very didactic, or is like an educational lecture.

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