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The intuitive answer to me would be to "emphasize" something. This explanation seems different from others I've seen, however, that say it means to "finish something". Help on this?

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What's the explanation that seems different? –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Jul 15 '11 at 15:11
    
finish something? which I totally didn't expect it... –  stonebird Jul 15 '11 at 15:14
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I don't find anything difficult to understand in the question, and don't know why it has been marked down. "different from other" is not standard, but seems perfectly clear to me. –  Colin Fine Jul 15 '11 at 15:22
    
The two different meanings for this are probably regional. –  GEdgar Jul 15 '11 at 17:23

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The idiom does have a different meaning from "emphasize".

draw a line under something

if you draw a line under something, it is finished and you do not think about it again: Let's draw a line under the whole episode and try to continue our work in a more positive frame of mind.

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I guess it's like doing a "check" on your checklist? or maybe cross it out? –  stonebird Jul 15 '11 at 15:15
    
Don't, however, confuse it with the similar phrase draw the line (at something). This means "to set a limit at something; to decide when a limit has been reached." You can make as much noise as you want, but I draw the line at fighting. It's hard to keep young people under control, but you have to draw the line somewhere. –  Daniel Jul 15 '11 at 15:15
    
Thank you very much. –  stonebird Jul 15 '11 at 15:18
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Now, I don't think it's either a "check" (I would say a "tick" in the UK) or crossing it out. The image for me is an account book, or perhaps a record of incidents. When one event is finished with you draw a line right across the page to mark the end of that and a fresh start. –  Colin Fine Jul 15 '11 at 15:20
    
Well done, Colin! –  stonebird Jul 15 '11 at 15:33

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