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Autor:  Dale-USA
E-mail:  dale_thomas2004@yahoo.com.br
Data:  30/JUL/2010 12:01 PM
Assunto:  wikipedia says...

Line in the sand (phrase)

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A line in the sand is a metaphor with two similar meanings:

  • The first meaning is of a point (physical, decisional, etc.) beyond which one will proceed no further. An example would be a person who might agree to visit a bar with his friends, but will go no further (i.e., not partake in drinking alcohol).
  • The second meaning is that of a point beyond which, once the decision to go beyond it is made, the decision and its resulting consequences are permanently decided and irreversible. An example would be to commit funds to completing a project (as opposed to deferral or cancellation); once committed, the funds cannot be spent on another activity, and the project will either succeed or fail.

The exact origin of the phrase is unknown, but several events (though perhaps in legend only) have a reference to an actual line being drawn:

  • Ancient Spartan soldiers were said to have drawn a 'line in the sand' during their defence of Greece in the Battle of Thermopylae.
  • In 168 BC, a Roman Consul named Gaius Popillius Laenas drew a circular line in the sand around King Antiochus IV of the Seleucid Empire, then said, "Before you cross this circle I want you to give me a reply for the Roman Senate" - implying that Rome would declare war if the King stepped out of the circle without committing to leave Egypt immediately. Weighing his options, Antiochus wisely decided to withdraw. Only then did Popillius agree to shake hands with him.[1]
  • Ngāti Whātua war leader Taoho drew a line in the sand, beyond which his tribe's Ngapuhi enemies were not to be pursued, during the battle of Moremonui, or the Seagulls' Feast, at the start of the New Zealand Māori Musket Wars.
  • In the United States, the phrase is most commonly associated with Texas history surrounding the Battle of the Alamo, as it is attributed to Colonel William Travis, commander of the Alamo defense forces. In the waning days of the Battle (somewhere between March 3–5, 1836), with Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna having the Alamo completely surrounded, Santa Anna sent a messenger to Travis demanding surrender, or else everyone in the compound would be killed. According to the legend, Travis called the Alamo defenders together, explained that defeat was almost certain, and read the letter of surrender; Travis then (having chosen to die instead of surrender) reportedly pulled his battle sword, drew a line in the sand of the Alamo, and asked for volunteers to cross over the line and join him, understanding their decision would be irreversible. The legend states that all but one of the defenders (including Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett) joined Travis on his side of the line; Moses Rose being the only holdout. Travis then responded to Santa Anna's letter with cannon fire, whereupon Santa Anna replied by playing El Degüello.
Note:  "El Degüello" is a military tune played on a bugle to indicate that no prisoners will be taken, that all enemies will be killed.

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Índice de mensagens

 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
establish a line in the sand  –  André_rs  28/JUL/2010, 11:47 AM
establish a line in the sand  –  Dale-USA  28/JUL/2010, 12:58 PM
establish a line in the sand  –  Paulo S  28/JUL/2010, 5:17 PM
establish a line in the sand  –  Sidney  30/JUL/2010, 10:02 AM
 wikipedia says...  –  Dale-USA  30/JUL/2010, 12:01 PM
wikipedia says...  –  Sidney  30/JUL/2010, 1:57 PM
wikipedia says...  –  André_rs  31/JUL/2010, 2:58 PM

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