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Along/on the lines

Posted by R. Berg on December 06, 2001

In Reply to: Along the lines posted by R. Dixon on December 05, 2001

: Origin of phrase "Along the lines of....".

Probably from the meaning of "line" defined as sense #15b in the Oxford Engl. Dict.:

"fig. Plan of construction, of action, or procedure: now chiefly in phr. 'on (such and such) lines.'"
"In all very uncultivated countries . . . there are but obscure lines of any form of government" .
"He had reorganized the constitution on the most strictly conservative lines" .
"No later work of Victor Hugo, written on the same lines or in the same temper, can reasonably be [etc.]" .