Tile and torch

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lzarzalejo73

Senior Member
Spanish
Hello everybody. I am reading A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold, and I am not sure what to make of the words "tile and torch" in the following sentence. Here is the sentence: "So with dredge and dyke, tile and torch, we sucked the cornbelt dry, and now the wheatbelt. Blue lake becomes green bog, green bog becomes caked mud, caked mud becomes a wheatfield"
I am afraid I cannot see the use of neither "tiles" (a thin, usually square or rectangular piece of baked clay, plastic, etc. used for covering roofs, floors, walls, etc.), nor "torches" (a small light that is held in the hand and usually gets its power from batteries), unless "torch" is used as a verb, in the sense of producing flames.
I hope no further quoting is necessary.
I am sure there is an easy, clear explanation I fail to grab.
Thanks in advance for your kind assistance.
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "torches" (a small light that is held in the hand and usually gets its power from batteries)
    I'm not sure where "tile" comes in either, but this is an American book. In American English, the thing you are describing is called a flashlight, not a torch.

    torch - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
    1 a light, made of a stick of wood or some other substance, lighted at the upper end.
    ...
    3 any of various devices producing a hot flame, used for soldering, etc.; a blowtorch
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    This is ceramic tile drain pipe.

    I don't think it's used anymore.
    :thumbsup: The phrasing suggests a very abbreviated description of draining an area of land, dredging and creating dykes, putting in drainage pipes (using such "tile" pipes to maintain the water removal systems) and working at night by the light of torches (the burning kind)
     

    lzarzalejo73

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thank you so much, everybody. I would have never guessed it, not without your help. Now it makes sense to me.
     
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