I was putting together a new webinar called Slip, Trip & Fall Analysis for delivery on 12/17/2015, and thought a couple Sherlock Holmes quotes would be nice. So, as I often do, I turned to "The Google." Google led me to another one of my favorites, Wikipedia, which had a great Sherlock Holmes page with a bunch of great quotes. So many of these quotes are remarkably applicable to the work that we do, including the building inspection and construction management services that we call Building Lifecycle Management (BLM), as well as our Construction Claims & Litigation work.
Here are the 7 quotes that landed on the section-transition slides in our Slip, Trip & Fall Analysis seminar:
- 1. INTRODUCTION: "Things must be done decently and in order." - Sherlock Holmes
- 2. METHOD: “To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are, and to underestimate oneself is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one’s own powers.” - The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- 3. INVESTIGATION: “We approached the case, you remember, with an absolutely blank mind, which is always an advantage. We had formed no theories. We were simply there to observe and to draw inferences from our observations.” - Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of The Cardboard Box
- 4. ANALYSIS: “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” - Sherlock Holmes
- 5. CONCLUSIONS: “It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognize, out of a number of facts, which are incidental and which vital. Otherwise your energy and attention must be dissipated instead of being concentrated.” - Sherlock Holmes in The Reigate Puzzle, 1893
- 6. PRESENTATION: "Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person." - Sherlock Holmes
- 7. CONCLUSION: “There is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you.” - Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles
There were too many applicable and awesome Sherlock Holmes Quotes to use, so here's some more:
- It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.
- It is a capital mistake to theorize in advance of the facts.
- Work is the best antidote to sorrow.
- One should always look for a possible alternative, and provide against it.
- In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backward. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much. In the everyday affairs of life it is more useful to reason forward, and so the other comes to be neglected. There are fifty who can reason synthetically for one who can reason analytically.
- I never guess. It is a shocking habit — destructive to the logical faculty.
- You know my methods. Apply them.
- How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
- You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.
- The little things are infinitely the most important.
- Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details.
- There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.
- What one man can invent another can discover.
- We must look for consistency. Where there is a want of it we must suspect deception.
- We must not let him think that this agency is a home for the weak-minded.