Do you stand in line or on line?  Depends on where you’re from. If you’re from New York, you probably stand on line, but elsewhere you stand in line.
If you have ever spent time in a classroom you know that cutting in line is a capital offense and you should be prepared for the consequences. To this day I will let someone go ahead of me if there is any doubt at all as to who got there first!

Funny little word, line; used in so many expressions. Here is a collection from 15 minutes of thought:
Line up
Line of succession
Police line- up
Walk a fine line
There’s a fine line between ____________ and ___________
I draw the line
A straight line is the shortest distance between two points
Sign on the dotted line
Line drawers or shelves
Line your pockets with gold
Line drawing
Line of clothing
Feed you a line
Wow, does he have a line

Don’t give me that line
I have so and so on the line for you
Line item
Clothes line
Fishing line
A line drive
Base line
Foul line
Line of work
Walk the line   
Line of fire
Bottom line
Line of duty
Draw a line through it
Line ’em up

Back to the beginning of this ramble: a man named David Andrews has published a book about the science and history of standing in line. Forming a line, instead of milling about in unruly crowds, supposedly had its origin in France about the time of the French Revolution as a sign of all being equals. The practice soon spread to England. As cities grew, in Europe and here, the line was a way to maintain crowds. China, in 2007, as it prepared for the Olympics, encouraged people to form orderly lines as part of the attempt to promote civility within crowds of waiting people. There was even an official announcement declaring “Voluntarily Wait-in-Line Day” on the 11th of each month. Why the eleventh? The Chinese character for 11 looks like two people standing in line. (It is a total coincidence that I am writing this on the 11th of January.)

A review of Andrews’ book suggests there is a reason that the line you choose at the bank or the supermarket never moves as fast as the line you do NOT choose, but you would have to read the book for the answer, and I did not. (“Why Does the Other Line Always Move Faster” by David Andrews)

                                               Dorothy C. Judd © 2016

Next post: Monday, January 18th


About twofelines

What to say? I love my family and friends. I also love kids, cats, and books. Oh, and potato chips and Cheez-its. I am a retired teacher who still loves to be in the classroom, so now I am a substitute teacher.
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