"I don't know anything about music. In my line, you don't have to."

-- Elvis Presley

What does "In my line" mean? What does this quote mean?

  • Without more context, we can only guess at the meaning of the quote. – GoDucks Jan 13 '16 at 5:55
  • In my line means in my trade, profession, or field of interest. – Khan Jan 13 '16 at 7:31

Here line is short for line of work, or profession, what one does for a living.

The quote appears to be ironic or a joke. Who knows, without further context.

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In my line of work you don't have to

Elvis was a singer. He was loved by just about everyone and his signature voice is still paid homage to on a daily basis.

He also had a great sense of humor. The quote is a good example: of course a musician needs to know a thing or three about music.

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The word line is used in many senses. Among them, it also means your trade, profession, or field of interest (The Free Dictionary).

I think the phrase "in my line" implies "in my field of interest".

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  • I'm pretty sure Elvis would be referring to his 'trade' or 'profession' here (though of course one assumes that music was also an interest of his). I can't find the source of this quote or more context, so it is more like a sound bite at the moment. – GoDucks Jan 13 '16 at 5:19

He was referring to music theory. It meant you do not have to know about music theory in order to compose music. You do not even need to know it in order to be able to play music. "Line" here does not mean "line of work", but rather "line of thinking", with "of thinking" being understood: In my line [of thinking], you don't have to [know anything about music].

How true it is this quote I know very well! I too know absolutely nothing about music, yet I lately began to write songs and everybody seems to like them! Of course it is not easy to become another Elvis, but music is natural to everybody and everyone can be a songwriter with no previous music knowledge.

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  • But what is a "line of thought"? – Nathan Tuggy Jan 27 '16 at 23:50
  • It's a line of thinking. Why did you downvote? I will amend but "line of thought" is not incorrect as you think. E.g. see (thefreedictionary.com/line+of+thought) – Antonio Bonifati 'Farmboy' Jan 27 '16 at 23:51
  • Yes, but what is a line of thinking? Do you mean that he was referring to his way of thinking, or school of thought, or something like that? "Line of thinking" isn't a familiar phrase. – Nathan Tuggy Jan 27 '16 at 23:56
  • See webster: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/line number 4. Line can be "a course of conduct, action, or thought". It can also be "a field of activity or interest". Both interpretations do not change the meaning: you don't have to know anything about music in order to make music. – Antonio Bonifati 'Farmboy' Jan 28 '16 at 0:11
  • The definition in 4a seems a little misleading, although the example clarifies it: it refers chiefly to some defined system of thoughts or beliefs, so it's puzzling to bring that in here. It's not as though Elvis is known to be a No-Musicitarian or a member of the Know-Nothing Party. That makes no sense. – Nathan Tuggy Jan 28 '16 at 0:22

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