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“Crime is common. Logic is rare.” [COPP] 

Malcolm Gladwell's 2008 Book Outliers posited that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master anything. A recent study has debunked that claim.

But the notion that dedication results in expertise is a powerful one. We look around at our fellow Sherlockians and imagine how much time, collectively, has been spent not only with the Sherlock Holmes stories, but the thousands of books, articles and other media that have sprung up as a result of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation.

The original Constitution and Buy-Laws of the Baker Street Irregulars stated:
The current round shall be bought by any member who fails to identify, by title of story and context, and quotation from the Sacred Writings submitted by any other member.
     Qualification A. If two or more members fail so to identify, a round shall be bought by each of those so failing.
     Qualification B. If the submitter of the quotation, upon challenge, fails to identify it correctly, he shall buy the round
There's no way this exercise could be seriously undertaken unless the attendees put in hours of reading, over and over again.

And one might think that in today's world, where online and offline search capabilities of the Canon make us lazier in this regard. In our case, we strenuously object. Years of reading the Sherlock Holmes stories closely and watching the Jeremy Brett Granada episodes — which quite often lifted dialog directly from the Canon — it's burned into our brain. We use the search capability to ensure we get the wording exactly right for the quote that precedes every article here.

Meanwhile the boys at Baker Street Elementary have a unique way of getting expertise...

Baker Street Elementary follows the original adventures of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, as they and their friends work through the issues of elementary school in Victorian London. An archive of all previous episodes can be viewed at www.bakerstreetelementary.org.