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One meaning of the verb acquire is to take possession of something.

This involves usually buying it. However, in the vernacular, it can also mean to steal something. For example, a gangster might say, “I’ll acquire da Mercedes you’s looking fer. Da car da bag. I knows where one is located. Da owner won’t know what hit ‘im. It’ll be a lead pipe dat hits him, but he’ll won’t know it.”

Why do gangsters in low-budget, and sometimes in high-budget movies always talk like that? That sounds like profiling to me. Gangsters should file a civil rights suit with whomever one files civil rights suits.

You can also acquire knowledge, which means to gain knowledge. That may not involve paying for it. For example, you can get knowledge for free at a public library. But you will likely have to pay to acquire knowledge if you get it while completing a university degree. And if you go to an ivy league college to acquire knowledge you might have to cough up an amount close to the national debt for that honor.

You can also acquire intangible objects. For example, an air force pilot can acquire a target on his radar. This typically means some people are about to die. But, don’t worry, I’m sure they were bad guys because that’s the way things work when we’re talking about pilots on our side, the good guys, right?

You can also acquire a signal on, say, your cell phone. This simply means you are able to talk on it and/or use the Internet on it.

Acquiring a cell phone signal usually isn’t a problem in large cities were cell phone signals are ubiquitous. However, there are usually a few spots even in cities where you can’t get a signal. And it’s an even bigger problem in rural areas. In addition, for some reason that science can not yet fathom, the probability of you acquiring a cell phone signal is inversely proportional to the importance of the call you want to make.

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