A. K. Karlson? High School Motto? Evan Esar? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: The word “can” designates the ability to accomplish a task. “Can” also specifies a container. I recall the following wordplay-based inspirational maxims:
- Success comes in cans, failure in can’ts.
- Success comes in cans—I can, you can, we can.
Would you please explore this topic?
Quote Investigator: The earliest match located by QI appeared in “The Hartford Courant” of Connecticut in 1907. No attribution was specified for this anonymous adage: 1
For November 2nd.
SUCCESS COMES IN CANS. FAILURE IN CAN’TS.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- 1907 November 2, The Hartford Courant, (Advertisement for insurance from The Mutual Benefit Company), Quote Page 08, Column 7, Hartford, Connecticut. (Newspapers_com) ↩