In a word: Line

The English language has some marvelous words that can be used so as to have any number of meanings

For instance,

Draw a line in the sand

We would all like to do this with our children, our job, our relationships, but for some reason, the idea sounds really good in our heads, but it never quite works out in reality. What does it mean, whatever it is, this I’d where it ends or changes because it can’t keep going the way it is.

Inevitably it leads to,

You’ve crossed the line

Which at some point in our lives, and particularly when children, we all do a few times until, if we’re lucky we learn where that line is. It’s usually considered 8n tandem with pushing boundaries.

Of course, there is

A line you should never cross

And I like to think we all know where that is. Unfortunately, some do not and often find their seemingly idyllic life totally shattered beyond repair. An affair from either side of a marriage or relationship can do that.

You couldn’t walk a straight line if you tried

While we might debate what straight might mean in this context, for this adaptation it means staying on the right side of legality. Some people find a life of crime more appealing than doing honest days work.

This goes hand in hand with,

You’re spinning me a line

Which means you are being somewhat loose with the truth, perhaps in explaining where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing. I think sometimes liars forget they need to have good memories.

Then there are the more practical uses of the word, such as

I have a new line of products

Is that a new fishing line?

Those I think most of us get, but it’s the more ambiguous that we have trouble with. Still, ambiguity is a writer’s best friend and we can make up a lot of stuff from just using one word.

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