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ERIC Number: EJ971728
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Sherlock Holmes and the Strange Case of the Missing Attribution: A Historical Note on "The Grandfather Passage"
Reilly, Jamie; Fisher, Jamie L.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v55 n1 p84-88 Feb 2012
Purpose: In 1963, Charles Van Riper published "My Grandfather," a short reading passage that has evolved into a ubiquitous metric of reading ability and speech intelligibility. In this historical note, we describe several heretofore unacknowledged similarities between "The Grandfather Passage" (Darley, Aronson, & Brown, 1975) and a portion of "The Valley of Fear" (Conan Doyle, 1915/2006), the final novel of the Sherlock Holmes series. We also describe overlap between "My Grandfather" and "The Grandfather Passage." Method: We contrasted propositions within "The Valley of Fear" to "My Grandfather" and "The Grandfather Passage." We also compared the respective text strings using the Turnitin antiplagiarism software application (iParadigms, 2011). Results: "My Grandfather" and "The Grandfather Passage" are nearly identical passages with 88% string overlap. In addition, both passages show similarities with text from "The Valley of Fear." Conclusions: Darley et al. (1975) did not acknowledge Van Riper (1963) as the original author of "The Grandfather Passage." In addition to this citation oversight, neither Darley et al. nor Van Riper attributed Conan Doyle as original source material. We describe the colorful history of this passage that has seen a remarkable breadth of utility in speech and language sciences.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A