Talk:Bernard Woolley

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Date of birth[edit]

Is that really meant to be his date of birth? Despite the fact that the casting of Derek Fowlds at that point would rather kill the illusion, I thought Woolley was meant to be comparatively young - in his early 30s rather than mid-40s. --Bonalaw 08:18, 21 September 2005 (UTC)


(proven (historical solution)) is like (little (old lady)) - as "proven" modifies the whole phrase it doesn't take a comma; see [1] #2 --Zeborah 21:32, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

To quote from this website:

"Adjective as independent descriptions. Independent adjectives display the discrete facets of the noun they are describing. They list descriptions. As items of a list these descriptions are necessarily separated by commas.

[e.g.] That smelly, dirty, ragged coat is still his favourite one."

"Proven" and "historical" are separate adjectives and the sentence would still make sense with either removed (i.e., the solution can be either proven or historical, whereas the old lady must be just that). The reason I qualified the description was to demonstrate that Woolley seeks solutions that have not only been tried before, but have been seen to have worked in a practical sense. Sorry, but I don't see "proven historical solution" as a noun phrase in the same way as, e.g., "large ancestral home", which most definitely is. However, I'm not one for getting into an edit war, so I won't re-revert! Chris 42 22:46, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, well obviously I still disagree with you. Talking with a friend, she suggested the test of reversing the adjectives - to me "a historical proven solution" sounds so wrong it verges on nonsensical, and that's the signal that a comma isn't appropriate. But if you disagree with me there too, how would you feel about "a historically proven solution" as a compromise? --Zeborah 06:17, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I have no problem with your suggestion at all: "historically proven" is a very good alternative. Thanks for accommodating my point of view. :-) Chris 42 11:36, 5 April 2006 (UTC)


I have removed Woolley's knighthood - he isn't Sir Bernard in the sitcom, just plain Bernard. See for example [2] - "Principal Private Secretary, Bernard Woolley (Derek Fowlds), and Permanent Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby (Nigel Hawthorne)." Jll (talk) 09:51, 8 May 2010 (UTC)