I’m a fan of detective stories and recently I have been watching a lot of Sherlock Holmes. There is a recurring plot line that happens at various instances, where Sherlock would give amazing insight about a person just by looking at the person for a minute. On one such instance, Sherlock explains how he came to his conclusions, listening to which the person exclaims – “Oh! I thought there is some cleverness to it. It was so simple!!”. Offended by the remark, Sherlock replies – “Omne Ignotum Pro Magnifico!“. Watson quickly translates it to – “Everything becomes commonplace after explanation” which Sherlock doesn’t like and says it is a loose translation.

It caught my attention and through my web search, I came to know that it is a Latin phrase which means –

“Everything unknown appears magnificent”.

As a testing professional, which path should we choose – the path to look magnificent by hiding knowledge about our bug finding secrets or the path to enable others to look beyond the magnificence & learn how to do it by breaking complexity into simple parts?

I have met people from both categories who have done good for themselves. The very reason that I chose to coach others is that I fall into the latter category.

3 Responses to “Omne Ignotum Pro Magnifico”

  1. Beatrice MacGuire

    Greetings from Montreal!
    Well! I just now happened by chance on the very same Sherlock Holmes quote as YOU did, while unwinding before a vintage BBC Holmes episode… and was deeply STRUCK by it too!
    So, wishing to trace it back to the original, I followed the same path, seeking its classical root, and step one, natch was to GOOGLE the Sherlock reverse quote at which point I arrived at… you!
    I too espouse the ethic ‘Keep it simple, Stupid! (The appellation referring to oneself, not one’s patient and forbearing listeners.)
    Simplicity can sometimes get you EVERYWHERE!
    In my study on Unity and the Unifying Factor in a University environment (Einstein’s efforts in that regard being based, as I very simply demonstrate, on a wee little goof!) I hit on certain core keys on that subject which seem never to have been hit upon before — and this, not because they are too ‘high falutin’ for the normal brain to grasp — but because they are so kindergarten simple, so far under the level of competence of our greatest thinkers and most enlightened moral leaders, as to be inaccessible from the rarefied heights of their ivory towers and their Holy Sees.
    These advances, as soon as they are simply introduced immediately become OBVIOUS… like… DUH!!! And turn all of our current beliefs upside down! LOL!
    Once we get to that point things truly begin for the first time to look.. UP!!
    So! I was very amused and interested in our likeminded journey to the roots of all that core deep quote, was charmed by our shared values-based transparent position on that regard, and am writing to say thank YOU for presenting the original reverse Latin quote that spawned this most delightful ethical and EVIDENT opposite number.
    Just FYI, the webpage address of my Unity Project produced at a peace center at HEC Montreal, the University of Montreal, is the two testimonial letters will give you a notion of the small advance in the name of peace that I stumbled quite gauchely on in the name of One Heart, One Love, One US.
    Whoop! Whoop!
    Best regards and hats off to you across oceans and continents

  2. Rahul Verma


    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I wrote this more than an year back and I was happy to know that someone like yourself found it interesting.

    I’m a coach and a consultant. This quote represents a constant struggle I go through in these roles.

  3. john price

    A few years back i asked students to design and make a coat hanger in 10 minutes, they had just about every machine and hand tool plus CAD system available,not one made the time limit, I picked up a hammer and nail and drove the nail in the wall !!!!!
    I fear we are breeding a generation that will never see the wood for the trees

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