What is the origin of the phrase in the title? It’s been reiterated about so.many different things, I can’t seem to find the original one.
There was a song written in 1934, “So Many Things, So Little Time”, words by A. Harvey Lang-Ridge, music by Charles Willeby.
1835, Honoré de Balzac, La comédie humaine of Honoré de Balzac, Volume 21:
so many men, so little time–Mae West
Purely personal memories:
Raising Arizona: John Goodman’s character saying something like, “So many social engagement; so little time.”
Much earlier anecdote or joke: Somebody had a railroad crosstie attached to the front bumper of a truck with lettering burned into it “So many pedestrians, so little time.”
Perhaps even earlier references to the idea from childhood days, but surely by teen years (1950’s).
No cites to speak of.
“There are so many worlds, and I have not yet conquered even one.”
Attributed to Alexander the Great, and at least 1200 years old.
You will go along way to trump that one.
While there may be earlier examples, this is certainly the best known one, and I would guess the source of its modern popularity. Although Mae West is given as the source of the quote, I haven’t yet been able to track down where she is supposed to have said it. (Like Yogi Berra, West didn’t actually say everything she said.)