Nowadays, a guideline is “any document that aims to streamline particular processes according to a set routine,” according to Wikipedia. My question is, does this abstract definition derive its roots from an actual, physical object called a guide line? Like, a rope or line or string or something that helped guide people to accomplish a certain task?


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Ain’t that the darnedest. I looked at a whole bunch of etymology sites and none of them said that - they all just gave the etymologies of “guide” and “line” and that was it. Thanks.