re: Pull Twins? page 2

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What does 'pull twins' mean? Here's the context:

Speed cop pulls twins
A Canadian policeman had to look twice after booking identical twins for speeding on the same day - in the same car.
Constable Chris Legere pulled over an 18-year-old woman, from Akwesasne, for driving at 96mph in the morning, reports Canadian Press.
Hours later, the same car was stopped by Legere for travelling at 92mph in the opposite direction.
He thought at first he'd caught the same person twice but an identification check showed that it was her twin sister.
"They don't only share the same birthday but they share the same offences," said Const. Joel Doiron. "They'll be splitting speeding fines, too."
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Comments  (Page 2) 
I posted this as an example of how difficult newspaper headlines can be. Like "Cop pulls over twins"

OK here's the background.

"Hat trick" - as you may have discovered, is an idiom meaning to be successful 3 times in a row - score 3 goals, win 3 elections etc.

"Baby elephant" is also used idiomatically. "To act like a baby elephant" means to be clumsy - have you ever seen a baby elephant try to control it's trunk? It's all over the place.

"To bring the house down" is another idiom meaning to get great public acclaim - it is often used about a theatrical performance, meaning that the applause was tremendous.

OK, what have we got so far:

Someone clumsy scored 3 goals to great public acclaim. (It was in an international match - he was 17 years old, and he was a bit chubby) (chubby = a bit fat, but in a nice way, like a child)

But there's more - and this is not idiomatic, but cultural.

Many years ago there was a children's tv programme called Blue Peter. ( I'm laughing as I write this, because I saw the programme!) They brought a baby elephant into the studio, and it ran amok! It raced all round the studio, pulling the keeper behind it, and made a terrible mess all over the floor, if you know what I mean.

So now this incomprehensible headline means

"A chubby, clumsy young man scored three goals to great public acclaim. He raced around the pitch and nobody could catch him or control him, and he made a compete mess of the opposition"

Not a very catch headline, I think you'll agree.

(In England, there is a sort of competition to see which paper can get the best headlines. This one came from The Times.)

This headline then, in 6 words, contained 2 idioms and a cultural reference. Very clever. This is why people have such difficulty reading and understanding newspaper headlines.Emotion: big smile
Thanks Abbie, yep, it was very clever! This is irrelevant, but reading your comment reminded me of the name of the puppet show "Peggy hit ....". I do not remember whom was hit by Peggy, poor him! It's interesting how we name things in different cultures, and how expressions come to existance. I've come across a few expressions that bear similar meanings with similar words in English and Persian. I'm collecting them and will post them in a new thread. I'd like to know if their similarity is due to the same origin, or because we human beings tend to think similarly. What do you think? Or similar circumstances may lead to similar expressions! I don't know, probably all of the three hypotheses are correct!

Cheers,
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hmm - sounds like the nature / nurture debate. Maybe they arose spontaneously in different cultures, or maybe they travelled between cultures precisely because of the similarities. [:^)]

I look forward to the thread - it will be fascinating.
Yes indeed it will be... I've also seen things like that happen when compared to French, and I've been wondering...
So Pienne, you can also collect the French ones. It's interesting to gather as many as we can, in any two languages. Then we can list the ones that have almost the same meaning in the languages in question, and think about their roots and discuss their relations.
A socio/psycholinguistic thread. Sometimes, we come across expressions with interesting stories behind them. They are also worth to be recorded somewhere. I think these kind of discussions can give us a clue of how our brain works- at least regarding the language issues. I remember reading this line from a linguist that the similarities between the languages are more than their differences, but we've got use to pay attention to differences. I have to go through my books to find out who was the author and add the quote to my signature! Ha ha. I'll let you know guys as soon as I start the thread.
Cheers,
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Ok I will. None comes to my mind at the moment, but they're wierd, because they escape language, you're right to say it's more socio/psycholinguistic.
Aren't we some intellectual bunch!
You bet we are!
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