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The 21 Words Every Sherlockian Should Know
Recently I was driving home from work listening to National Public Radio when I heard a report about the 100 vocabulary words that every high school student should know. I forget the reporter and the reportee's names but the story stuck with me none the same. I had nearly forgot about the story until the next day, my wife mentioned hearing the story also.
She had visited the NPR website and printed the list. I am now happy to report that any well read Sherlockian should know 21 words off of that list. One can count 22 words if allowed the use of the word lugubrious. This word is not found in the Canon but it has often been used to describe Nigel Bruce's portrayal of Dr. Watson on the Silver Screen.
The words in a semi-alphabetical order that makeup the list is to follow. I have tried to give the Canonical reference.
The first word on the list of 100 is abjure. This is to renounce under oath; to forswear; 2) to recant solemnly; to repudiate. In FIVE it explains the warning of the five orange pips. "On receiving this (the pips) the victim might abjure his former ways or, might fly from the country." Abrogate, Abstemious and Antebellum are not to be found anywhere in the Canon
Acumen is mentioned in MISS and in RETI. Auspicious is to be found in VALL. Churlish is so vulgar it can only be read in YELL. It Belies me why Bellicose and Bowdlerize did not find their ways into the Sacred Writings. I suppose Dr. Watson could have used Chicanery to fit Chromosome and Circumnavigate into one of the character's dialog.
Circumlocution is the use of unnecessarily wordy and indirect language. It is also an invasion in speech or writing. I might be accused of circumlocution in this article but the word is used in both PRIO and VALL. I may also be charged at being diffident when it comes to this paper much like Dr. Watson being diffident toward Holmes' use of cocaine as written in SIGN. There are Deciduous trees, such as the elm in MUSG, mentioned but not the word deciduous. This fact does not seem to have any Deleterious effects on the outcome of the case.
Dr. Watson must have had plans to Enervate or at least Enfranchise someone in one of the untold stories. This could have been an Epiphany of sorts. We know that Holmes was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and the composition of the Solar System, but we never learn if knows of the Equinox. We also know Holmes retired to the Sussex Downs long before the Euro was introduced to the continent.
The Sherlock Holmes adventures will certainly never become Evanescent because the good Doctor never had to Expurgate any of his proper Victorian writings. And even though Dr. Watson has a pawky humor, he was never Facetious or Feckless. Surely Holmes thought of Watson as Fiduciary for not revealing too much about some of their adventures. However, I will not try to Filibuster this point.
Holmes in MAZA calls Sam Merton fatuous Sam. This makes Mr. Merton a vacuously, smugly, and an unconsciously foolish person. There are some words that would be difficult to fit into a story. I guess Dr. Watson's could have used an alliteration such as 'the Guache Gamete was a Gerrymander but to what means? To satisfy some Homogeneous Hegemony?
Haemoglobin is mentioned several times in STUD but Plasma, Hubris and Hypotenuse are not found in any of the stories. However incognito is in 3 stories. The word's identity is not hidden in ILLU, SCAN, or YELL. It is also ironic that irony is also found in YELL. Holmes would like to Impeach all of Scotland Yard, this is Incontrovertible but not stated exactly as such in the Canon. Maybe researchers of the Sacred Writings could Interpolate the Infrastructure of the stories and find a reason so many of the words are not used.
I hope this article is not becoming Jejune. Is the Kenetic energy making one want to Kowtow or become Laissez Faire? The will not become a Lexicon for future articles. I promise not to become Loquacious.
Dr. Watson could have used Metamorphosis or Mitosis but he didn't. Nor did he write the word Nanotechnology that is understandable. He did ascribe the murders of the Marquess of Montalva and his secretary to Nihilism. There was peculiar Nomenclature used among Nonsectarian groups but these have yet to be Notarized by any Sherlockian scholar.
I realize that this is becoming an Obsequious attempt at getting all 100 words of the list into the article or maybe it is just an exercise in Orthography. The next word found in the Canon is Omnipotent, which is in STUD and in VALL. The King of Bohemia would never be accused of Origarchy but his English may have been a bit rusty, which mustn't be confused with Oxidation. The Tsar was much more Totalitarian than the King was.
The word Parabola is not in the Canon. Neither is square but other geometric shapes are mentioned. There are circles and triangles are mentioned in the Canon but those shapes are not on the list. Here again this Paradigm has a set Parameter but does not require Pecuniary to be understood. I am certain this article will not be Plagerized.
We hear of exotic plants in CHAS and rare plants in HOUN but nowhere do we hear of Photosynthesis, which is the process by which green plants synthesize carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water by using light as an energy source. And no matter how hard one tries to find one, there is not a single Polymer that is talked about in the 60 tales.
Precipitous can be found in HOUN, PRIO, and STUD. Stars are referred to in 10 tales and it is more than likely one of the stars gazed upon was a Quasar but this would not be a Quotidian event if mentioned.
Watson was never guilty of Recapitualtion that might explain Holmes' Reciprocal attitude toward his narratives. Reparations were made in BERY, BRUC, DANC, and STUD and except for the dead people, everyone in the Canon breathed. However Respiration is only found in LADY.
Sanguine is not found in any of the Canonical Soliloquy nor are the readers Subjugated to any Suffragists in the stories. Many reader who have made it this far may be having Supercilious feeling by now towards the bit of Tautology. Please don't fret.; we are nearly to the end!!
Medical schools teach Taxonomy and Engineering schools teach Tectonics and we have both of these professions in the Canon but not these words. One might wonder if Professor Moriarty studied Thermodynamics and well as Astrophysics or would that have been too Tempestuous for him?
Henry Peters in LADY spoke in an Unctuous make-everyhting-easy voice but Holmes Usurped him it would appear. Many others in the Canon could be classified as Vacuous and I state this with Vehemence. Moriarty is likened to a spider in the center of his web. He could also have been described as at the center of a Vortex, but he wasn't.
So here we are at the end. If I had Winnowed this article, it could have been completed in a couple of paragraphs. Instead, I Wrought it one you just as Watson used wrought in ABBE, DANC, HOUN, SIGN, and SIXN. This must have been a favorite of his.
So remember this if nothing else, Watch out for Xenophobic Yeoman who lives in a Ziggurat.