About Lines

Lines of separation, of definition and of connection have been a way of conceptualising ideas for me over the last few years…and so this list I found this list in Tim Ingold’s 2007 book titled Lines: A brief history made me think about my own definitions.

Seventeen different meanings of the word ‘line’ from the Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson published in 1755


1.       Longitudinal extension

2.       A slender string

3.       A thread extended to direct any operations

4.       The string that sustains the angler’s hook

5.       Lineaments, or marks in the hands of face

6.       Delineation, sketch

7.       Contour, outline

8.       As much as is written from one margin to the other; a verse

9.       Rank

10.   Work thrown up; trench

11.   Method, disposition

12.   Extension, limit

13.   Equator, equinoctial circle

14.   Progeny, family, ascending or descending

15.   A line is one tenth of an inch

16.   A letter; as, I read your lines

17.   Lint or flax

Thank you Samuel Johnson.

So here we go with my operational lines.. 17 for starters.  Oh dear.. this may be the start of something.

1. Writing lines (remembered from school, it was a punishment.)

2. Above and Below the line (one into the other..fracturing)

3. Railway lines (to infinity ..)

4. A Line in the sand (and no further)

5. The poverty line (please not below)

6. High tide line.. (where the washed up are deposited)

7.Telephone lines (becoming less tangible these days)

8.Borderline (at the edge, don’t go any further)

9. Lines of longitude and latitude (the latter are parallel lines again)

10. Connecting lines.. journey lines, bridges

11. Dividing Lines, borders, rivers, mountain ranges

12. Family lines.. (who am I? Pick and mix like most of us)

13. Timelines

14. Perimeter lines (KEEP OUT)

15. Line of sight and sightlines (maximum range of VHF radio waves )

16. The treeline

17. Crossing the line


One thought on “About Lines

  1. Hi Carrie, finally catching up with some of your blogs! Really enjoyed your lists of line definitions, found and created. Much to ponder and reflect on. I haven’t reflected enough yet, though am convinced there are many intriguing ‘signposts’ in the lists, but it occurs that thinking of life and the natural world in a ‘linear’ way seems to me to be restricting and simplistic. A paradox but then isn’t that always at the core of life? Any thoughts? Much love, Yvonne XO

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