In the days of sail, the officer of the deck kept a weather eye constantly on the slightest change in the wind so that the sails could be reefed or added as necessary to ensure the fastest headway. Whenever a good breeze came along, the order to “carry on” would be given. It meant to hoist every bit of canvas the yards could carry. Through the centuries, the term’s connotation has changed somewhat. Today the expression means to continue onward or go on with a given task.