Talk:Dr. Watson

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Origin of character[edit]

From the article:

Although it was the British author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself who created the character of Dr Watson, as well as that of Sherlock Holmes, yet credit must deservedly go Dr Mohammed Ebrahim Sufi too, Doyle's British-Indian Muslim colleague and a very close acquaintance, for originally coming up with the idea of Dr Watson's character. As Dr Sufi, the suggester and Dr Doyle the author, were both 'Doctors', the fictional character of John Hamish Watson as Sherlock's assistant also had to be a Doctor. This gave the character an exquisitely intellectual touch.

and:

It was once again the result of Dr Mohammed Ebrahim Sufi's proposition to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that the former's beloved East got mentioned in Doyle's novels. It could not have been India, as that was already part of the British Empire, and the context of the novels required a place where a British man, Dr Watson, could possibly have been required to serve in 'on the front'. Hence, Afghanistan it was.

Does anyone have a reference to back these up? --Paul A 09:02, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Re-adding exactly the same text does not in any sense qualify as providing a reference to back it up. --Paul A 15:47, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

I can keep this up just as long as you can. --Paul A 03:17, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Please note that the characters of Professor Geoffrey Moriarty, Colonel Sebastian Morgan, and the iniquitous Endicott Bubble were suggested to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by his childhood friend and confidant Mahmoud al-Shazam. This highly intellectual Musselman jurist had a distinguished career in the British courts and was also a well respected Qu'ran scholar. Mr. al-Shazam died in 1943 after he offered himself to the Imperial Japanese Navy as a human torpedo to be used against the American aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Cheesequake.Lestrade 17:35, 25 December 2005 (UTC)Lestrade

Wait what ------------------------------------^

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.240.105.38 (talkcontribs) 19:55, 25 August 2006


This may be the inspiration for Dr. Watson?

From The Afghan Campaign of 1878-1880, (Published in London by Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, 1882.pp. 233-4.

SURGEON GEORGE WATSON, M.B., BENGAL MEDICAL DEPARTMENT.

THE subject of this notice was the eldest son of Mr. Edward Watson, farmer, Crawfordjohn Farm, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He was born on the 4th September, 1844, and received his earlier educa­tion at the Crawfordjohn Parish School, under the late Mr. Robb. At the age of fifteen he entered the University of Edinburgh to study Medicine; and passing in the greater number of his subjects with honours before obtaining his majority, took the degree of M.B. in the year 1866, at the age of twenty-one years. Shortly afterwards he re­ceived the appointment of House Surgeon to the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, which responsible position he held for seventeen months, availing himself during its tenure of the daily opportunities which presented themselves for improving his professional attainments and acquiring a practical knowledge of the surgical art Taking, in the year 1868, the degree of L.R.C.S., Edinburgh, he continued to practise in various parts until 1872, when he passed for the Indian Medical Service, his name appearing ninth in the list of successful candidates. He received his com­mission in March, 1872; and after passing through the usual course at Netley, em­barked in the autumn for India.

On arriving at his destination, Watson did duty for a month at the General Hospital, and was subsequently posted successively to the 33rd Bengal Native Infantry, the 8th Bengal Cavalry, and the 14th Bengal Lancers. In January, 1876 he was permanently appointed to the 13th Bengal Lancers.

In the autumn of 1878 Dr. Watson volunteered for active service in Afghanistan, and was attached for duty to the Artillery of Sir Sam. Browne's Division of the Army of Invasion. Accompanying the Division into the Khyber, he was present, on the 21st November, at the attack and capture of Ali Musjid. In January, 1879, he took part with a detachment of his own regiment, which he had in the meantime rejoined, in the Bazar Afridi expedition under Sir F. Maude; and continuing with the regiment, subsequently did duty with it on the Northern Line at various posts extending to Jalalabad, eventually participating with it in the trying return march to India in June, 1879. On the renewal of hostilities in the autumn, Watson proceeded with the 13th Bengal Lancers by forced marches to the Kuram Valley; and in the month of December, accompanied the portion of his regiment which took part in the expedition against the Zaimushts, returning eventually to Kuram. In the course of his sub­sequent duties, which were performed in the unhealthy climate of the valley, he suffered repeatedly from attacks of fever, till at length, in July, 1880, a move to higher ground was deemed necessary for the re-establishment of his health, and he left for the Peiwar Kotal. The change came, however, too late: a few days after he arrived at his destination his fever took an enteric form, and on the 25th of the month he expired.

In addition to performing his regimental duties, Dr. Watson had been for some time in medical charge of the Head-quarter Staff. During the brief term of his service he had become universally beloved and esteemed.

The deceased officer was buried, with military honours, in the cemetery at Fort Kuram.


— Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.72.24.112 (talk) 16:17, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Remove the page entirely and redirect?[edit]

I turned this page to a proper disambiguation page for now, but it might make sense to entirely remove it and make it redirect to John Watson (Sherlock Holmes). Pasi 09:14, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Whoops. Wrong talk page. This was supposed to go to Talk:Doctor Watson. Pasi 09:16, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Update: actually, it seems that Talk:Doctor Watson redirects here. I'd like to see the redirect removed and the disambiguation page given its own talk page but I have no idea about the Wikipedia policy regarding talk page redirects and their deletion. The page doesn't seem to have much of an edit history so I suspect it can be turned to a talk page without WP:RFD. Pasi 09:26, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

another photo[edit]

we should add a photo of the two actors who play watson in the granada tv series alongside jeremy brett. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.202.230.124 (talkcontribs) 22:44, 28 May 2007

wives?[edit]

I would like to have an expanded section discussing Watson's wives: how many canonical wifes are there? 195.24.29.51 08:20, 27 June 2007 (UTC) Only two. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.110.182.66 (talk) 01:57, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Name[edit]

There is no reference in the article to those extra-canonical sources, where the full name came from. But I am sure, that in story The Man with the Twisted Lip wife calls him James, not John.

“It was very sweet of you to come. Now, you must have some wine and water, and sit here comfortably and tell us all about it. Or should you rather that I sent James off to bed?”

Has his middle name ever been found out? Dr. John H. Watson, what is the H. for? I've looked and can not find any reference on this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.16.238.245 (talk) 02:35, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Watson as fool[edit]

Certainly a great many have insisted (as does this article) that Watson, as Doyle depicted him, was no fool, but Doyle himself claimed that Watson was “rather stupid” (4:01). Is there a “reliable” source to trump that? —SlamDiego←T 08:19, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Revolver[edit]

As discussed in the Sherlock article was most likely an Enfield no.2, as mentioned in the article for Webley and Scott:

"In 1932 the Enfield No.2 .38 inch calibre revolver, based on the Webley Mark VI, became the standard British service revolver. However, wartime shortages ensured that all marks of the Webley including models in .455 and .38/200 remained in use through World War Two, and the pistol remained in service as a substitute standard weapon into the early 1960s." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.169.37.116 (talk) 14:44, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

"Background and Description"[edit]

Para 3 states"Watson is a physician of some experience". But according to the opening of "A Study in Scarlet" he qualified in 1878 and was invalided in 1880 at Maiwand. He then spent "several months" in a base hospital before being shipped back to England. Thus he probably arrived "on Portsmouth Jetty" some time in 1881. This implies that he was not "a physician of some experience", but a quite newly qualified doctor of around 3 years' experience at the start of his acquaintance with Holmes. 212.159.59.5 (talk) 17:49, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

The Further Adventures Confusion[edit]

A quick hello and my first post here. I want to talk about the last paragraph of 'Adaptations'. I collect Holmes radio broadcasts of all kinds. Here in the UK The Further Adventures (TFA) is a collectiom of stories by Bert Coules for the BBC using Merrison & Sachs. Bert Coules has a web site which lists them. They are 16 episodes of 45 minutes each. One story only was a 2 parter (2 episodes) and was the most recent to be broadcast. Actually it debuted this year. 2010. Now on to Jim French's Imagination Theatre. I guess I should use American. Imagination Theater. Actually theatre is fine but theater is underlined as a spelling mistake. Anyway... checking the web site French's stories seem to of appeared under 2 different titles. The Classic Adventures Of SH and The Further Adventures Of SH. These TFA stories have no connection to the UK TFA episodes. For the Jim French stories Holmes has been played by 2 people. John Gilbert and John Patrick Lowrie. Watson always by Lawrence 'Larry' Albert and not Andrew Sachs as is stated in the paragraph at issue. The piece needs to be edited as the person who originally wrote the piece doesn't seem to understand there are 2 TFA collections. --RobbyOzzy (talk) 20:28, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Age?[edit]

I don't see any mention of the character's age, especially as it relates to that of Holmes. I suppose we're to imagine he ages 20+ years over the course of the stories, but I still don't have a good feel for his age. Is he older than Holmes? Same age? Some films show him as an old retired doctor, and others show him around the same age as Holmes. Do the books shed any light on this? 65.0.219.59 (talk) 07:10, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Answering 65.0.219.59: In A Study in Scarlet, Watson specifically says that he took his MD from the University of London in 1878. The MD program at the University at that time was four years, and the most highly-regarded program in England in 1880, with strict standards for entry, testing, and graduation.[1] It's not likely, therefore, that he entered the University without already possessing a bachelor's degree (in a non-canonical story, "The Field Bazaar", Doyle gives Watson a Bachelor of Medicine from his own alma mater, University of Edinburgh, yet forgets that he let Watson get an MD from the University of London).[2] Assuming the average age of going up to university was 17, then Watson would have been 21 when he took his BM (1874), 25 when he took his MD (1878), and 27/28 when wounded at the Battle of Maiwand (27 July 1880). This gives an approximate birth year of 1853. In "His Last Bow", Sherlock Holmes is said to be sixty years old on 2 August 1914; that would give us a birth year for him of 1854 — at the very latest, the latter third of 1853. At most, then, Holmes and Watson could have been no more than almost two years apart, and likely less than that. — TonyLayne (talk) 09:10, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

Move?[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was the move is afoot; "no brainer" below sums it up. Overwhelmingly the common and recognized name.--Professor Moriarty (talk) 22:59, 17 August 2010 (UTC)


John Watson (Sherlock Holmes)Doctor Watson — Most frequently used, and common sense. We only know that his name is John because of one line in a Study in Scarlet. Nobody ever uses it again except his wife on one occasion; Doyle himself had forgotten the name and had her call him 'James'. BillMasen (talk) 23:11, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

  • Support; although the "James" reference is just a mistake, and it's widely accepted that "John" is canonical, the average reader probably couldn't tell you either name. "Doctor Watson" is clearly the most common name for this character, and since he is a fictional character, we needn't follow the rule about avoiding titles in article names (which was the reason for the original move away from Doctor Watson). I personally prefer completeness (I'd even consider John H. Watson if this were my personal encyclopedia), but my personal preferences are not an issue here; consensus demands that we use the most recognizable form of the character's name. Powers **T 13:07, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
    • Comment I think his full name should be included in the first line, I just think the page should be called dr watson, because people might be frustrated that they can't (they think) find the page about dr watson. BillMasen (talk) 19:00, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
      • Well good; I'd insist on his full name in the lead. Powers T 21:11, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - If you asked anyone the name of Sherlock Holmes's companion, almost everybody would answer either "Watson" or "Dr. Watson". Green Giant (talk) 01:13, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - No brainer. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:47, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

I've changed the lead, improvements are welcome. BillMasen (talk) 11:48, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

I've given the full account of his first name, as it was requested that his full name remain in the lead. However, I think it goes into too much detail for the lead section, and should be moved down the article. I wasn't sure how else to introduce his full name. BillMasen (talk) 17:08, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Guidance and "the Game"[edit]

I removed this passage: Mary seems somewhat less sure of her husband, however, absent-mindedly calling him "James" in the short story "The Man with the Twisted Lip". This may be a simple typographical error on Dr. Watson's part, though some have speculated that it is a wifely reference to Watson's unknown middle name, which could have been "Hamish" (Scottish for "James").[3]

But I'm really not sure whether it should go. We're supposed to cite reliable sources, and this kind of thing is as close to a reliable source as we're going to get on a matter of such detail.

However, we're supposed to write articles from a real-world perspective, not a fictional-world one. This is a serious problem with Sherlock Holmes, because most of what's been written about it is silly play-acting as if SH was a real person, otherwise known as The Game.

Are there any real books about Sherlock Holmes as a piece of literature?

I am strongly inclined to remove all Game-oriented material, but I'd like to know what others think. BillMasen (talk) 11:41, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Dr. vs Dr[edit]

Not to be nitpicky, but shouldn't it be Dr Watson, as opposed to Dr. Watson? – (empoor) 18:06, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Middle name[edit]

The "Name" section includes a reference to Dorothy Sayers' speculation about Dr Watson's middle name. An editor removed this, saying it was "in-universe" and non-canonical. Well, I'm not sure it is in-universe - indeed, the→ Sayers quote is one of the very few secondary sources in the article, not counting the pop culture references. So I think it belongs. StAnselm (talk) 06:16, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

It was I who removed this, and you are missing the point, I think. Sayers is not Doyle; speculation about Watson's middle name is pointless because Doyle, the only source of any kind who can in an encyclopedia have any say whatsoever on this question, never mentions. it. That is all that we know. The in-universe bit is that you are treating Watson as if he were a real person who actually had a middle name. He is not and does not. Sayers is not a secondary source - she is just a fan playing with an idea. I can say that his name may well be Henry, which was the third most popular name in England in the 19th century; should that be in the article? And what does some pop film have to do with the character created by Doyle? Reverting this as well. You are mistaking pop culture references like Sayers and the film for the facts about what ACD wrote about the character. If you want to add Sayers and the film to the pop culture section, feel free - that's where they belong, if anywhere. But John H. Watson, M.D. as an encyclopedia topic is strictly and completely the property of its creator, ACD. Anything else is pop culture. Sensei48 (talk) 15:20, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I disagree strongly. "Strictly and completely the property of its creator, ACD"? No - that is not how fictional characters are treated on wikipedia. We look at what is written in reliable secondary sources about the character. If you think Dr Watson's middle name is Henry, you will need to get that published in, say, an academic journal, and then it will be worthy of inclusion here. Anyway, it doesn't look like we're going to agree on this one, so we need to wait for some more input from other editors. StAnselm (talk) 21:03, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
To comment further, for a fictional character, "pop culture" does not include portrayal in film adaptations. It means references in other films, exactly what we have here. We have an adaptation section and a pop culture section. So there article is not just concerned with what ACD wrote. StAnselm (talk) 21:53, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
The first sentence of the lede for the article is "John H. Watson, M.D., known as Dr. Watson, is a character in the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle." That is definitive and sets the parameters of the article - which means that references such as fan speculation about his middle name, speculation that is not "in the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle", belongs in an adaptation or pop culture section and not in the main article.
Your statement that "that is not how fictional characters are treated on wikipedia" simply indicates that there are many other really bad, non-encyclopedia articles on characters that confuse speculation and pop culture with literary creation. As far as reliable secondary sources - how can you possibly use Sayers? In her own words (quoted in Sherlockian game), her "game-playing" was intended to be "specious" (her own word) with the primary point of mocking "higher criticism" of The Bible. The tongue-in-cheek nature of her writing on the canon hardly qualifies as scholarship and did not appear in an academic journal. The "light literature" aspect of the stories is the primary reason why there is virtually no serious scholarship on the SH stories - whereas there is on Doyle's historical novels like The White Company. That leaves us only with what Doyle wrote - except for fan speculation and pop culture, which generally have their own articles or sections in articles on Wikipedia but are not to be confused or conflated with the main article. Speculative and pop culture edits and in-universe tone are in serious need of revert to begin to give this article the massive rewrite it needs to climb toward the integrity as an encyclopedia source that as of now it lacks. I'll wait, however, to allow for other editors to comment and to give you time to find a real source that wasn't intended as a cheeky joke as Sayers is.Sensei48 (talk) 22:30, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

The way it is written currently, it seems to make it quite clear that Sayers speculated a middle name but Conan Doyle never gave one. Even then, it is within the context of the John/James conundrum so as the article doesn't explicitly claim his middle name is Hamish, I think it is probably fine. That's my opinion for whatever that is worth. :) ThaddeusSholto (talk) 02:32, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Hm, I have to say I agree with what Sensei says above, as mere speculation it seems irrelevant; he doesn't actually have a middle name not being a real person, so it is quite in-universe from that perspective, and it would be very dubious to suggest that Doyle ever intended it. So I can't see that it really belongs in the article any more than if someone speculated his wife (who is oddly being referred to as 'Morstan' there) just had what I would term a 'brain fart' (of which I myself have many of exactly that nature -calling people by the wrong name including my spouse, it's like my name retrieval software doesn't work properly or something). Anyway, I digress. I simply don't see what makes that speculation noteworthy in the context of the article, rather than meaningless. Especially if it was a tongue-in-cheek example.Number36 (talk) 04:31, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
The name "Hamish" has appeared in both Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and "A Scandal in Belgravia" - this indicates a significant acceptance of the name, even if the tongue-in-cheek aspect is retained. I strongly believe that it belongs in the article, among other reasons because people will come to this article wondering about "Hamish". Also, Sayers' speculation is covered in the Sherlock Holmes for Dummies book. StAnselm (talk) 04:45, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
The Dummies book says "most Sherlockians embrace this clever theory and now consider his full name to be Dr John Hamish Watson" StAnselm (talk) 04:50, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
But SH for Dummies hardly qualifies as a RS, especially as it pertains to a sweeping generalization of the kind quoted. Also note: Thaddeus Sholto supports the inclusion of the Sayers guess as it appears in the current, unreverted edit. Numbers and I are not happy with any mention since the speculation is in-universe and non-canonical. St. Anselm, your extension of the edit is opposed by two editors and a third is neutral. In addition, the extension is making reference to pop culture stuff is completely out of step with the rest of the article, which is based entirely in the canonical Watson, even if it is in-universe. On that basis and the editor opposition, I am reverting back to the prior edit: Sayers stays, but the movies and the pop SH for Dummies go. This material is clearly and incontrovertibly popular culture, especially as referenced in entirely non-canobical movies, and that is where it belongs, if anywhere.Sensei48 (talk) 07:25, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
OK St. A- agreed about the redundancy. How about working up a subsection on the name and characterization for the popular culture section? Sensei48 (talk) 07:56, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Major overhaul needed[edit]

Much of the article reads like original research and is written in the style of an essay. Span (talk) 09:27, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Agree fully. Further, there is discussion above about these issues without the use of the specific terms. Sensei48 (talk) 14:26, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree too. I might try to remove some of the extraneous bits that seem a little strange (ie, a huge chunk of the article). Kathleenem (talk) 17:26, 23 November 2012 (EST)

Portrayals[edit]

I haven't the time to draft a new para now, but the portrayals of Watson mentioned are very incomplete. One interesting point that occurs to me is the various actors who have played both Holmes and Watson - Carleton Hobbs, Jeremy Brett, Howard Marion-Crawford, Reginald Owen, Tim Pigott-Smith, Crawford Logan ... And Poirot's Hastings surely deserves a mention as Watson's successor. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rogersansom (talkcontribs) 13:23, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Sandifer and Phillip vs Ormond Sacker[edit]

The article currently claims that In Conan Doyle's early rough plot outlines, he intended the role of Watson to be filled by two junior detectives, Sandifer and Phillip; he later merged these characters as "Watson". I added a citation needed tag to this a couple of months ago. Looking around I can't find a reliable origin for this fact, if anyone knows of one it would be very interesting. I did find someone had asked the question on another site (here) some time ago and as the person who answered them noted, the wording appears to be the same in the places where it is asserted, "suggesting that they they might be copying from the other without checking sources. None of the sites I looked at can provide a source for this claim." However, I can find a reliable source for the name Ormond Sacker as the original name considered for the character, which is not present in the article. From The World of Sherlock Holmes: The Great Detective and His Era, by Martin Fido (ISBN 1580620469, 9781580620468) which even provides a copy of ACD's draft page of Study in Scarlet showing the name (copy here).Number36 (talk) 21:19, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Here is the edit that put that unreferenced info in way back in 2005. That editor put the same information in Sherlock Holmes and then never edited again. It is safe to say there is nothing factual about that edit and it should be removed. ThaddeusSholto (talk) 22:56, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

I have corrected the article and added references. ThaddeusSholto (talk) 23:10, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Good and thanks. To another matter - in the discussion above, I argued for the removal of the speculation about Watson's middle initial (based on a joke by Dorothy Sayers) from the article for reasons as outlined above. Another editor opposed it and no one else chimed in. I wonder if you would take a look at the section "Middle Name" above and comment if you are so inclined. Sensei48 (talk) 00:21, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Physical Description.[edit]

I note that under this section "he is variously described as strongly built, of a stature either average or slightly above average, with a thick, strong neck and a small moustache" is marked as 'citation needed', I believe whoever added it may've been thinking, at least in part, of this section from The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton; He was a middle-sized, strongly-built man - square jaw, thick neck, moustache, a mask over his eyes." "That's rather vague," said Sherlock Holmes. "Why, it might be a description of Watson!" "It's true," said the inspector, with much amusement. "It might be a description of Watson." I'm not sure what would be an appropriate way to reference this though since it's directly from the story, but as the former is already referenced directly to A Study in Scarlet I'll copy that. The only other description I can think of off-hand, aside from the initial one of 'thin as a lath, brown as a nut' (and there's a mention of him having a moustache there as well), is in a Scandel in Bohemia when Holmes and he are discussing the fact that he'd put on either seven pounds, or as Sherlock contended closer to seven and a half, after becoming married. Which isn't really all that much, but if someone wanted to work it in appropriately the reference is there. Oh, and Holmes says 'your modest moustache' to him in The Adventure of the Red Circle.Number36 (talk) 22:00, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Suggested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved. Consensus was that the proper name of the character outweighs the local WP:ENGVAR. Of course, other words in the article not directly taken from the original works should use British spellings. (See also Living Colour, where the shoe is on the other foot.) (non-admin closure) Red Slash 00:37, 9 January 2014 (UTC)


Dr. WatsonDr WatsonWP:ENGVAR. British English doesn't use the full stop. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:35, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used the styling "Dr. Watson" (full stop included). See for yourself in the very first chapter, which happens to be titled Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
    My understanding is that British usage of this form has declined in recent decades (but hasn't vanished entirely). —David Levy 09:14, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose the current British laxity in fullstops is of recent origins, and until well after the Second World War, the British still used fullstops. The time this character was created, it used fullstops. Further, this character has infected fiction throughout the English-speaking world and beyond, where people still have not become as lax as the British in the use of fullstops in title abbreviations such as "Mr." or "Dr." etc. -- 76.65.128.112 (talk) 05:09, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    Not laxity. We just think it looks better. And since the part of the word being abbreviated is the "octo" and not the "r", putting a full stop after the "r" is technically incorrect in any case. -- Necrothesp (talk) 20:15, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    I agree that "laxity" isn't an accurate description, but deeming usage of the full stop "technically incorrect" without qualification is equally inaccurate. My understanding is that grammaticists in the UK (and some other countries) have shifted toward advice against using a full stop to indicate an omission preceding the letter directly to the left, but this has not occurred worldwide.
    It's more accurate to state that the practice is considered technically incorrect in modern British English, but I would describe it as a minority convention (much like logical quotation in North American English, which we use throughout the encyclopedia). —David Levy 22:04, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - for all the good reasons cited above, the most important of which is that Doyle used it.Sensei48 (talk) 06:19, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with David Levy and Sensei48. The Yeti 08:09, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per everyone else. StAnselm (talk) 08:26, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. Yes, British English used to use full stops far more than it does now. So what? Yes, Conan Doyle used the full stop. So what? We write in modern English on Wikipedia. Do we write articles on Shakespeare in Elizabethan English? No, of course we don't. Do we write articles on Sherlock Holmes in Victorian/Edwardian English? Of course we don't. Since this is a British subject, no matter how popular Holmes is overseas, WP:ENGVAR applies. -- Necrothesp (talk) 20:15, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    A major distinction exists between our general style of prose and our formatting of proper names.
    I just went to Amazon.co.uk and sampled ten current UK publications of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes works, six of which retained the full stop in "Dr. Watson". So while the article's subject is undeniably British, usage of a full stop in this particular literary context evidently persists in the UK to a significant extent. With that in mind, WP:COMMONALITY enters the equation; the rendering "Dr. Watson" is acceptable across all varieties of English.
    WP:TIES remains highly relevant, of course. Certainly, the article should be written in British English, but the usage in question still exists therein. I'll also point out the following note:
    For articles about modern writers or their works, it is sometimes decided to use the variety of English in which the subject wrote (especially if the writings are quoted). For example, the articles on J. R. R. Tolkien's works, such as The Lord of the Rings, use British English with Oxford spelling.
    David Levy 22:04, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Watson the IBM computer[edit]

The Popular Culture section mentions IBM's Watson (computer), which was named for Thomas J. Watson, not John Watson. Should this entry be removed, or edited with a disclaimer to the effect that the idea it was named after John Watson is a misconception? 99.1.99.15 (talk) 04:42, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Jezail note[edit]

"Also known as a Jazail, Jazair, or Janjal, a Jezail was a very large flintlock or matchlock musket, with a barrel up to 8 feet (2 m) long. " Even for an approximation that conversion is way off. I would change it, but am not sure which figure to trust. --Khajidha (talk) 11:49, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Smith, Jon. "Student Paper on 19th-Century Medicine". University of Michigan. n.p. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  2. ^ Arthur Conan Doyle (1896). "The Field Bazaar". In Peter Haining, ed., The Final Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1980; p. 81. ISBN 1-56619-831-3.
  3. ^ Dorothy L. Sayers, creator of the detective Lord Peter Wimsey, who also wrote several essays on Holmesian speculation, later published this theory in Unpopular Opinions.