[Ads-l] failure is not an option

James Eric Lawson jel at NVENTURE.COM
Sun Jan 24 22:40:20 UTC 2021

A report in (paywalled) 01 May 1980 The Rock Island Argus, p 9,
left col., toward bottom,
quotes US Energy Dept. Sec. Charles W. Duncan Jr. from a "news conference":

"We don't have the luxury of having failure as an option," he said.
"It's going to be until the turn of the century before we have 
substantial returns from alternative energy sources."

Variations on the theme follow, including this from a witness for the
July 21, 1981 Small, high technology firms, inventors, and innovation
hearings before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the
Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives,
Ninety-seventh Congress

"Failure was not an option available to them." p 63.

On 1/24/21 1:14 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> Conventional wiz credits this to the movie _Apollo 13_ (1995).
> Cf.:
> 1983 _Trenton Times_ (Apr. 11) 11 : We worked on the premise that all this
> could be done. Failure was never an option.
> What's surprising is that nothing earlier has appeared.  I certainly never
> heard "Failure is not an option" till after the movie was released,
> JL

James Eric Lawson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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