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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1,000s are Using this App to Learn 10 Languages! Find out How!!

You may have come across lots of ads like this online recently. I know have, though I think that might be targeted advertising based on my interests in language. Obviously, most of the ads like this are just clickbait, but there are some language-learning apps such as Duolingo and Babbel which are quite popular and seem to be well-regarded.

I admit to being a bit sceptical about such apps, probably because if they’re really as effective as they claim to be, I’ll be out of a job! But also, having seen how much work goes into both teaching and learning a language, I find it hard to imagine a simple app could be up to the job. Here are some of the aspects of learning a language that I assume an app would struggle to provide: Continue reading