She Could Steal, but she Could not Rob

It was a lovely sunny evening in the west of Ireland today, which made me feel like Abbey Road would be a good accompaniment to my walk home. Probably because it features “Here Comes the Sun,” but I think it’s a generally positive album anyway, suitable for a balmy evening. As I was listening, I was struck by a line in “She Came in through the Bathroom Window” which I’d heard many times before, but never really thought much about:

She could steal, but she could not rob.

It’s a clever, cute line, and if you’re interested in the possible meaning behind it, you can look here. This evening though, it made me think about the difference between those two verbs: steal and rob.

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Come in out of the Rain

Earlier this evening, while WhatsApping with my friend about staying in or going out, I tapped out the following phrase: best to stay in out of the rain (we’re staying in). I didn’t think anything about it, until I happened to glance at it as I was putting my phone down. My eye zoomed in on the middle, specifically on these two words: …in out…. Hang on a second, I said, that can’t be!

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The Tennisman who Loves Cyclism

Bonne 14 juillet! Yes, it’s the French national holiday, known in English as Bastille Day though in French it’s normally just called le 14 juillet, or La Fête nationale. As French is one of the only two languages apart from English that I’m relatively competent in, I’ve written about it here quite a bit, so I won’t repeat myself. I just want to look at two French words that seem like they really should be English words, but aren’t.

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Behind the Scenes of Blogging: Statistics

I want to take a little break from looking at language for this evening. Actually, I had tried to write something about language. I tried to write the post I’d mentioned yesterday: I wanted to start with the word English, and then let my phone choose which words would follow. I was hoping for some mad Dadaist poem, but was somewhat disappointed it was just recreating whole sentences from my blog or from emails. But then, having a look at my blog dashboard, and looking at other blogs, I decided to write about what I like about blogging. And when I started thinking about it, I realised I could write a lot, so I decided to focus on one aspect of the blogging experience: the statistics.

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Textspeak

Or txtspk I suppose, only, do so many people really use textspeak anymore, and therefore, is textspeak perhaps now more appropriate? I was thinking about this recently when someone communicated with me in classic txtspk, as in things like hi how r u, I wnt 2 da suprkmarkt 2day, it was gr8! It surprised me, partly because it wasn’t in a context in which I’d normally expect to encounter textspeak. Mostly though, it surprised me because it made me realise that I hadn’t come across someone using textspeak in a long time…

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