Mastermind: How to Think like Sherlock Holmes

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Feb 14 22:47:41 UTC 2013

(Yes this is on topic for the American Dialect Society ... eventually.)

An American woman admitted to the bar at Middle Temple Hall, known
for the first performance of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" and the
Inn of Court of William Blackstone, and thereafter employed by a
British law form, has come under suspicion by the Bar Standards Board
of England and Wales.  As part of her effort to further document her
qualifications, she submitted a letter confirming her status in the
Bar of the State of New York from the office of then-Attorney General
Eliot Spitzer.  The letter from Spitzer's office includes the phrase
"she has regularly and continuously exercised rights of audience in
the courts of the State of New York."

Although she first came to the attention of her law firm when a clerk
noticed that she appeared to be much older than the age stated in her
employment application, someone who "thinks like Sherlock Holmes"
might have noticed the Britishism "audience."  Although I do not know
the formal legal terminology, I suppose in this context an American
would have used "appearance".  I suppose subservient English lawyers
were permitted to have an audience and be listened to, while brash
American lawyers assert a right to appear and be heard.

For the reference to Holmes, see "The Adventure of the Three
Garridebs," viz. "plow" and "artesian well."  For "How to Think Like
Sherlock Holmes," see the book by Maria Konnikova (2013).


The American Dialect Society -

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