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Draw the line/cross the line

Posted by S. Ryan on March 06, 2003

Are these truly related in origin? Does "draw the line" have its origin in sport, as is suggested in the archives, or in war, as in to "draw a line in the sand?" In American history, it is said that Col. William Travis "drew a line in the sand" at the Battle of the Alamo, and invited those willing to fight to the death to "cross over the line." I thought that to "cross the line" had a negative connotation... Any thoughts?