"The Dog That Didn't Bite"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Oct 8 13:45:59 UTC 2008

At 10/7/2008 11:12 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:
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>Didn't do *anything*:
>"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
>"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
>"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
>"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
>(It's from the short story "Silver Blaze".)
>Found via http://www.sherlockian.net/about/faq.html.

True, but when used in isolation, without the context of Conan
Doyle's tale, it would be reasonable to replace "anything" with
"bark", which is the anything the dog did not do.  Somewhat later in
the story, as Holmes is explaining his deductive process, he says
"The Simpson incident had shown me that a dog as kept in the stables,
and yet, though someone had been in and had fetched out a horse, he
had not barked enough to arouse the two lads in the loft."

(Found via "The Complete Sherlock Holmes".)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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