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Sherlock and Watson eh?

What is it with the names of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson?

In the old days (whenever exactly they were) the characters were commonly referred to as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson or, more commonly, Holmes and Watson. Watson's first name effectively was 'Doctor' as Holmes only ever referred to him as either Watson or Doctor. Holmes was only ever referred to, by other characters, as Holmes or Mister Holmes. There were two exceptions to this that I know of. The first was Mycroft Holmes who naturally referred to his brother as Sherlock and the other was Sherman the animal dealer who provided the services of Toby in The Sign of Four. He referred to Holmes as Mr Sherlock.
I know this isn't Holmes and Watson - before you comment!

This was all good old Victorian convention.

But what do we have now? We are all on familiar terms so it's now Sherlock and John (or Joan I assume). Every so often, however, we get a mix up. I am increasingly seeing occurrences of Sherlock and Watson which appears to suggest that these are considered to be the distinctive elements of the character names.


Written by Alistair Duncan
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