[Ads-l] Motto: We have done so much with so little for so long, that now we can do anything with nothing

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Thu Mar 23 22:47:02 EDT 2017


The version I've heard extends the much/little/long parallelism to say "anything with nothing forever."
Neal
 

    On Monday, March 20, 2017 11:45 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
 

 The motto in the subject line has been used by military personnel. I
received an inquiry about its provenance. Maybe JL has encountered it
in his reading and has some insights about its origin. Some versions
use "everything" instead of "anything"

The first citation below contains a description of Douglas MacArthur
that may be viewed as a precursor. This text contains the key
punchline element of doing "anything with nothing".

Date: March 26, 1942
Newspaper: The Sandusky Register Star-News
Newspaper Sandusky, Ohio
Article: General Hugh Johnson Says
Quote Page 4, Column 3
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
The plaudits he has so justly won by doing so much with so little have
left a sort of impression that he is a military magician who can do
anything with nothing.
[End excerpt]

Date: March 6, 1960
Newspaper: Daily Press
Newspaper Location: Newport News, Virginia
Quote Page 3-A, Column 5
Article: Eye on the Eagle
Author: Howard Gibbons (Daily Press Military Editor)
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
The tankers being flown out of Langley were built in the early 1950's,
at the latest. Their refueling altitude is limited to under
30,000-feet, their refueling speed is less than 300 knots and their
maintenance problems—because of age and high rate of usage — are
sometimes almost more than can be met—although the tankers have a
motto: "We have done so much with so little for so long, that now we
can do anything with nothing."
[End excerpt]

Below is a Vietnam-era match:

Date: July 4, 1971
Newspaper: Detroit Free Press
Newspaper Location: Detroit, Michigan
Quote Page 11-A, Column 1
Article: Bob Talbert's Detroit
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
The current No. 1 status symbol in Vietnam among Marines is
inscriptions on cigaret lighters, which everyone carries. It's sort of
like personal "graffiti." Some read: "You and me, God. Right?"
<<skip>>

Fighting for peace is like making love for virginity . . . Marines
have done so much with so little for so long, that now we can do
anything with nothing forever ... For those who fight for it, life and
liberty have a flavor the protected never know.
[End excerpt]

Earlier citations of other information welcome.

Garson

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