little things, the

little things, the

The unimportant matters, the minor concerns. This term dates back to the ancient Romans, or perhaps even further. Writers have deemed little things either as too trivial to make a difference (Ovid: “Little things affect little minds,” repeated by Disraeli and Oliver Goldsmith, among others) or as being the building blocks of important matters (Browning: “We find great things are made of little things”). A related phrase is the least little thing, meaning the least important matter or occurrence, as in “The least little thing will set her off in a temper tantrum.”
See also: little
References in periodicals archive ?
We get all tied-up in the little things, the minutia of our business.
If we, as a collective industry, can start by focusing on and accomplishing the little things, the big challenges may soon follow suit.
By attacking the little things, the transit police, headed by William Bratton, were able to affect the big things.
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