Another new proverb (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Wed May 4 20:57:14 UTC 2011

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The truth of this saying was driven home by the failure to send
redundant assets during Operation Eagle Claw, the failed attempt to
rescue the hostages in Iran in 1980.  I'd imagine that event was
important in the origins of this saying.

> >
> > Former SEAL on CNN: "In the SEAL teams we say, 'Two is one; one is
> >
> > In other words, if you have only one, expect it to fail. That's why
> > helicopters went after Bin Laden. One failed.
> >
> > GB takes this back (probably) to 1994-95, almost unanimously in
> > contexts, and, indeed, especially among SEALs.  I've encountered it
> > but only within the past four or five years.
> >
> > GB suggests that the phrase was originally part of a children's
> > rhyme. I guess they lived in a high-crime area.
> >
> > JL

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The American Dialect Society -

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