The Tesco supermarket company defines its values by a slogan that, as my American undergraduate student Denise Wood pointed out to me yesterday, simply doesn't seem (to her or to me) grammatical:
Denise showed it to me on the back of a till receipt, and at first I misread it as "Every little bit helps". (Recall the song title Every Little Bit Hurts.) Then I saw that the head noun bit wasn't there.
British students seem inclined to accept this phrase — possibly because they've been seeing it on bags and till slips for years (Tesco is still a mostly UK company). But there seems to be an isogloss here (a boundary between dialects determined by the use of some particular word or phrase), with me and Denise on one side and possibly (we don't know yet) most British speakers on the other. What does seem clear is that this is not a productive or extensible pattern. You just can't get away with other noun phrases formed, like every little, from a determinative and an adjective. You really can't say *Every big is desirable, or *Each generous gets us closer to the goal. The phrase every little, considered as a noun phrase, has to be some kind of special sui generis construction. It's not just a regular normal deployment of determinative and adjective.
I'm not saying you can never make a noun phrase with a determinative and an adjective; you certainly can make some, like the rich or the unthinkable. (No, rich, or unthinkable are not nouns. The argument is left as an exercise for the reader.) There is even such a noun phrase using little as the adjective, namely a little. But notice that *the little is not a well-formed noun phrase. (A little goes a long way is a sentence of English, but *The little went a long way is not.) The point is that there are only certain special noun phrase constructions of the form determinative + adjective. *Every rich is not a noun phrase. Nor is *all unthinkable. And for at least me and Denise, *every little is no better than they are.
We are quick learners, and we will recognize the phrase from now on, so we can follow what Tesco is talking about. We are not complaining. But the phrase seems to be a small extension of our language, rather than a pre-existing part of it.
[Update: Some of the comments below reveal that the origin of the phrase has nothing to do with Tesco, since every little has been established as a noun phrase for hundreds of years. So the odd fact here is that in three decades of hearing British English before my departure for the USA, I never noticed it or used it, and arrived at my present maturity still finding it ungrammatical to my ear. Let me add that there was some repetition and arguing and ill-tempered complaining in the comments below as of 4 a.m. Language Log time, and I have spend some of the late hours of the night shift deleting some of the clutter. If your comment was a snippy complaint or repeated something or was clearly confused or was wildly irrelevant or was overtaken by events, don't be too surprised to find it gone. One of the comments I did not delete despite my disagreement with it, from Mollymooly, says that the phrase is merely a proverb, and "There are no generalisations to be drawn or lessons to be learnt. Everybody move along, now." I couldn't fail not to disagree less. This is not a proverb, and anyway proverbs can teach us things about syntax. And from my quick look at this case, I have learned that the complexities of the syntax of the word little are much greater than I thought. It is an adjective but also a determinative; it can participate in modifier-head fusion (see The Cambridge Grammar pp. 410ff on that), but only with various odd restrictions on what the determiner is, and those restrictions are not the same in all dialects. That's a lot to learn from having an undergraduate show me a supermarket till receipt!]