A selection of headlines from stories in the news. They use English in a way that you might think is intended to confuse but it’s all perfectly clear to the native speaker.

“Bobbies on the Tweet”, is the headline for a story in the Daily Mail about the Greater Manchester Police force’s decision to record 24 hours of incidents reported to and dealt with by their police officers.  They recorded the incidents on Twitter, a popular networking site so that people could see what they get up to on a day to day basis.

In the first 12 hours, they recorded 1,140 incidents which resulted in 217 arrests, with 119 suspects remaining in custody.  The incidents ranged from shoplifting to someone setting off an alarm and ‘threatening text messages’, in fact spoof messages like “[Manchester City’s ground]. Reported missing trophies. Not to be taken seriously,” also appeared.

The Twitter feed attracted more than 14,000 followers.

The headline is a play on “Bobbies on the beat”.  “Bobby” is one of the more polite slang names for a policeman.  It comes from Robert Peel who set up the first ‘police force’ in the UK, Bobby being short for Robert/Bob.  “On the beat” describes the territory and time that a policeman or woman patrols.