Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: May 2020
    • Posts: 5
    #1

    smuggling in a file

    "A little bit of sugar is a great mood enhancer. I used to make cakes for the canteen, but then Stephanie made such a fuss, all this health-and-safety nonsense about food being brought in from the outside. You’d think I was smuggling in a file. But I still bake a little on the sly. My rebellion against the dictator state. Try it.” (Part II, Chapter 3, Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides )

    The speaker is offering cakes she made herself. I have no clue at all what the underlined sentence means.

    Please help. Thanks.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 55,021
    #2

    Re: smuggling in a file

    People used to smuggle nail files (or metal files) into prisons for prisoners to turn into blades.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: May 2020
    • Posts: 5
    #3

    Re: smuggling in a file

    Thanks for the reply. The meaning of FILES as in NAIL FILES didn't occur to me until now. The story did take place in a forensic mental hospital, and "health-and-safety" further explains everything. Thanks!

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 12,060
    #4

    Re: smuggling in a file

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    People used to smuggle nail files (or metal files) into prisons for prisoners to turn into blades.
    Not nail files.

    Metal files, to help them escape.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 55,021
    #5

    Re: smuggling in a file

    Nail files can be made of metal and are small enough to be smuggled in. They can be used to injure people.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Nail file.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	8.7 KB 
ID:	3520
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 12,060
    #6

    Re: smuggling in a file

    The idea is that a prisoner's wife conceals a metal file inside a cake, to be given to her imprisoned husband, who uses said file to file away the bars on his cell and escape.

    The speaker may be thinking about a file being used as a weapon, though, yes, since she talks about 'health and safety nonsense'.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •