Murphys Laws
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Murphys Laws
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Murphys Laws


Agnes Allen's Law: Almost anything is easier to get into than out of.

Army Laws: If it moves, salute it. If it doesn't move, pick it up. If you can't pick it up, paint it.

Barth's Distinction: There are two types of people: those who divide people into two types, and those who don't.

Baruch's Rule for Determining Old Age: Old age is always fifteen years older than I am.

Basic Law of Construction: Cut it large and kick it into place.

Becker's Law: It is much harder to find a job than to keep one.

Benchley's Law: Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.

Berra's Law: You can observe a lot just by watching.

Bombeck's Rule of Medicine: Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.

Boren's Laws of the Bureaucracy: 1. When in doubt, mumble. 2. When in trouble, delegate. 3. When in charge, ponder.

Borstelmann's Rule: If everything seems to be coming your way, you're probably in the wrong lane.

Bralek's Rule for Success: Trust only those who stand to lose as much as you do when things go wrong.

Cannon's Comment: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.

Captain Penny's Law: You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool MOM.

Cardinal Conundrum: An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist fears this is true.

Character and Appearance Law: People don't change; they only become more so.

Cleveland's Highway Law: Highways in the worst need of repair naturally have low traffic counts, which results in low priority for repair work.

Clyde's Law: If you have something to do, and you put it off long enough, chances are someone else will do it for you.

Cohen's Law of Wisdom: Wisdom is considered a sign of weakness by the powerful because a wise man can lead without power but only a powerful man can lead without wisdom.

Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

Cole's Law: Thinly sliced cabbage.

Colvard's Logical Premise: All probabilities are 50%. Either a thing will happen, or it won't.

Commoner's Three Laws of Ecology: 1. No action is without side- effects. 2. Nothing ever goes away. 3. There is no free lunch.

Dieter's Law: The food that tastes the best has the highest number of calories.

Ducharm's Axiom: If you view your problem closely enough, you will recognize yourself as part of the problem.

Dykstra's Law: Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

Edelstein's Advice: Don't worry over what other people are thinking about you. They're too busy worrying over what you are thinking about them.

Ehrlich's Rule: The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts.

Ettorre's Observation: The other line moves faster. Corollary: Don't try to change lines. The other line -- the one you were in originally -- will then move faster.

Farber's Third Law: We're all going down the same road in different directions

Finagle's Laws of Information: 1. The information you have is not what you want. 2. The information you want is not what you need. 3. The information you need is not what you can obtain. 4. The information you can obtain costs more than you want to pay.

Finnigan's Law: The farther away the future is, the better it looks.

First Law of Expert Advice: Don't ask the barber whether you need a haircut.

First Law of Laboratory Work: Hot glass looks exactly the same as cold glass.

First Rule of Superior Inferiority: Don't let your superiors know you're better than they are.

Frisch's Law: You cannot have a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.

Fudd's First Law of Opposition: If you push something hard enough, it will fall over. Tesler's Deviant to Fudd's Law: It goes in -- it must come out.

Gerrold's Law: A little ignorance can go a long way.

Gerrold's Laws of Infernal Dynamics: 1. An object in motion will always be headed in the wrong direction. 2. An object at rest will always be in the wrong place. 3. The energy required to change either one of the states will always be more than you wish to expend, but never so much as to make the task totally impossible.

Gibb's Law: Infinity is one lawyer waiting for another.

Ginsberg's Theorem (Generalized Laws of Thermodynamics): 1. You can't win. 2. You can't break even. 3. You can't even quit the game. Ehrman's Commentary on Ginsberg's Theorem: 1. Things will get worse before they get better. 2. Who said things would get better? Freeman's Commentary on Ginsberg's Theorem: Every major philosophy that attempts to make life seem meaningful is based on the negation of one part of Ginsberg's Theorem. To wit: 1. Capitalism is based on the assumption that you can win. 2. Socialism is based on the assumption that you can break even. 3. Mysticism is based on the assumption that you can quit the game.

Glaser's Law: If it says "one size fits all," it doesn't fit anyone.

Glyme's Formula for Success: The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made.

Green's Law of Debate: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

Haldane's Law: The Universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we CAN imagine.

Harris' Lament: All the good ones are taken.

Hart's Law: In a country as big as the United States, you can find fifty examples of anything.

Hellrung's Law: If you wait, it will go away. Shevelson's Extension: ... having done its damage. Grelb's Addition: ... if it was bad, it will be back.

Iles's Law: There is an easier way to do it. Corollaries: When looking directly at the easier way, especially for long periods, you will not see it. Neither will Iles.

Issawi's Laws of Committo-Dynamics: Comitas comitatum, omnia comitas. The less you enjoy serving on committees, the more likely you are to be pressed to do so.

Issawi's Law of Consumption Patterns: Other people's patterns of expenditure and consumption are highly irrational and slightly immoral.

Issawi's Law of Cynics: Cynics are right nine times out of ten; what undoes them is their belief that they are right ten times out of ten.

Italian Proverb: She who is silent consents.

Jake's Law: Anything hit with a big enough hammer will fall apart.

Jaroslovsky's Law: The distance you have to park from your apartment increases in proportion to the weight of packages you are carrying.

Jay's Laws of Leadership: Changing things is central to leadership, and changing them before anyone else is creativity. To build something that endures, it is of the greatest important to have a long tenure in office -- to rule for many years. You can achieve a quick success in a year or two, but nearly all of the great tycoons have continued their building much longer.

John's Collateral Corollary: In order to get a loan you must first prove you don't need it.

Johnson's First Law: When any mechanical contrivance fails, it will do so at the most inconvenient possible time.

Johnson's Second Law: If, in the course of several months, only three worthwhile social events take place, they will all fall on the same evening.

Johnson's Third Law: If you miss one issue of any magazine, it will be the issue containing the article, story, or installment you were most anxious to read. Corollary: All of your friends either missed it, lost it, or threw it out.

Johnson's First Law of Auto Repair: Any tool dropped while repairing an automobile will roll under the car to the vehicle's exact geographic center.

Johnson-Laird's Law: Toothache tends to start on Saturday night.

Jones's Law: The man who can smile when things go wrong has thought of someone he can blame it on.

Jones's Motto: Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate. McClaughry's Codicil on Jones's Motto: To make an enemy, do someone a favor.

Jones's Principle: Needs are a function of what other people have.

Juhani's Law: The compromise will always be more expensive than either of the suggestions it's compromising.

Kaplan's Law of the Instrument: Give a small boy a hammer and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.

Katz's Law: Men and nations will act rationally when all other possibilities have been exhausted.

Kelly's Law: An executive will always return to work from lunch early if no one takes him.

Kettering's Laws: If you want to kill any idea in the world today, get a committee working on it. If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.

Klipstein's Lament All warranty and guarantee clauses are voided by payment of the invoice.

Klipstein's Observation: Any product cut to length will be too short.

Knight's Law: Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans.

Knoll's Law of Media Accuracy: Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true except for that rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge.

Knowles's Law of Legislative Deliberation: The length of debate varies inversely with the complexity of the issue. Corollary: When the issue is trivial, and everyone understands it, debate is almost interminable.

Korman's conclusion The trouble with resisting temptation is it may never come your way again.

Kristol's Law: Being frustrated is disagreeable, but the real disasters in life begin when you get what you want.

Krueger's Observation A taxpayer is someone who does not have to take a civil service exam in order to work for the government.

Law of Late-Comers: Those who have the shortest distance to travel invariably arrive latest.

Laura's Law: No child throws up in the bathroom.

Lawyer's Rule: When the law is against you, argue the facts. When the facts are against you, argue the law. When both are against you, call the other lawyer names.

Leahy's Law: If a thing is done wrong often enough, it becomes right. Corollary: Volume is a defense to error.

Levy's Laws:  Good intentions are far more difficult to cope with than malicious intent. 

Lewis's Laws: People will buy anything that's one to a customer. No matter how long or how hard you shop for an item, after you've bought it it will be on sale somewhere cheaper.

Liebling's Law: If you just try long enough and hard enough, you can always manage to boot yourself in the posterior.

Law of Local Anesthesia: Never say "oops" in the operating room.

Los Angeles Dodgers Law Wait till last year.

Law of the Lost Inch: In designing any type of construction, no overall dimension can be totaled correctly after 4:40 p.m. on Friday. Corollaries: Under the same conditions, if any minor dimensions are given to sixteenths of an inch, they cannot be totaled at all. The correct total will become self-evident at 9:01 a.m. on Monday.

Lowrey's Law: If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

Lowrey's Law of Expertise: Just when you get really good at something, you don't need to do it any more.

Lubin's Law: If another scientist thought your research was more important than his, he would drop what he is doing and do what you are doing.

Luce's Law: No good deed goes unpunished.

Lucy's Law: The alternative to getting old is depressing.

Lyall's Fundamental Observation: The most important leg of a three legged stool is the one that's missing.

Lynch's Law: When the going gets tough, everybody leaves.

Lyon's Law of Hesitation: He who hesitates is last.

Madison's Question: If you have to travel on a Titanic, why not go first-class?

Malek's Law: Any simple idea will be worded in the most complicated way.

Manly's Maxim: Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.

Martha's Maxim (and see Olum's Observation and Farrow's Finding): If God had meant for us to travel tourist class, He would have made us narrower.

Matsch's Law: It is better to have a horrible ending than to have horrors without end.

Matsch's Maxim: A fool in a high station is like a man on the top of a small mountain: everything appears small to him and he appears small to everybody.

Matz's warning: Beware of the physician who is great at getting out of trouble.

Maugham's Thought: Only a mediocre person is always at his best.

McGoon's Law: The probability of winning is inversely proportional to the amount of the wager.

McGovern's Law: The longer the title, the less important the job.

McGurk's Law: Any improbable event which would create maximum confusion if it did occur, will occur.

McLean's Maxim: There are only two problems with people. One is that they don't think. The other is that they do.

Margaret Mead's Law of Human Migration: At least fifty percent of the human race doesn't want their mother-in-law within walking distance.

H. L. Mencken's Law: Those who can -- do. Those who cannot -- teach. Those who cannot teach -- administrate (Martin's Extension).

Mencken's Metalaw: For every human problem, there is a neat, simple solution; and it is always wrong.

Merkin's Maxim: When in doubt, predict that the present trend will continue.

Merrill's First Corollary: There are no winners in life; only survivors.

Meskimen's Laws: When they want it bad (in a rush), they get it bad. There's never time to do it right, but always time to do it over.

Michehl's Theorem: Less is more.

Mickelson's Law of Falling Objects: Any object that is accidentally dropped will hide under a larger object.

Miller's Law: You can't tell how deep a puddle is until you step into it.

Mills's Law of Transportation Logistics: The distance to the gate from which your flight departs is inversely proportional to the time remaining before the scheduled departure of the flight. Corollaries (Woods): This remains true even as you rush to catch the flight. From this it follows that you are invariably rushing the wrong way.

MIST Law (Man In The Street): The number of people watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your action.

Moer's Truism: The trouble with most jobs is the resemblance to being in a sled dog team. No one gets a change of scenery, except the lead dog.

Money Maxim: Money isn't everything (It isn't plentiful, for instance).

Montagu's Maxim: The idea is to die young as late as possible.

Morley's Conclusion: No man is lonely while eating spaghetti.

Morton's Law: If rats are experimented upon, they will develop cancer ("What this country needs are some stronger white rats").

Mosher's Law: It's better to retire too soon than too late.

Munnecke's Law: If you don't say it, they can't repeat it.

Murchison's Law of Money: Money is like manure. If you spread it around, it does a lot of good. But if you pile it up in one place, it stinks.

NASA Truisms :A consultant is an ordinary person a long way from home. Statistics are a highly logical and precise method for saying a half-truth inaccurately.

Law of Nations: In an underdeveloped country, don't drink the water; in a developed country, don't breathe the air.

Navy Law: If you can keep your head when all about you others are losing theirs, maybe you just don't understand the situation.

Evvie Nef's Law: There is a solution to every problem; the only difficulty is finding it.

Nessen's Law: Secret sources are more credible.

Newton's Little-known Seventh Law: A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.

Nyquist's Theory of Equilibrium: Equality is not when a female Einstein gets promoted to assistant professor; equality is when a female schlemiel moves ahead as fast as a male schlemiel.

O'Brien's Rule: Nothing is ever done for the right reason.

The Obvious Law: Actually, it only SEEMS as though you mustn't be deceived by appearances.

Occam's Electric Razor: The most difficult light bulb to replace burns out first and most frequently.

Olum's Observation (and see Martha's Maxim and Farrow's Finding): If God had intended us to go around naked, He would have made us that way.

Oppenheimer's Observation: The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it.

Ordering Principle: Those supplies necessary for yesterday's experiment must be ordered no later than tomorrow noon.

Orion's Law: Everything breaks down.

Orwell's Law of Bridge: All bridge hands are equally likely, but some are more equally likely than others.

Parson's Laws: If you break a cup or plate, it will not be the one that was already chipped or cracked. A place you want to get to is always just off the edge of the map you happen to have handy. A meeting lasts at least 1 1/2 hours however short the agenda.

Dolly Parton's Principle: The bigger you are, the harder it is to see your shoes.

Patton's Law: A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

Paulg's Law: In America, it's not how much an item costs, it's how much you save.

Peers's Law: The solution to a problem changes the problem.

Captain Penny's Law: You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you *can't* fool Mom.

Law of the Perversity of Nature: You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.

Peter Principle: In every hierarchy, whether it be government or business, each employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence; every post tends to be filled by an employee incompetent to execute its duties. Corollaries: Incompetence knows no barriers of time or place. Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence. If at first you don't succeed, try something else.

Peter's Hidden Postulate According to Godin: Every employee begins at his level of competence.

Peter's Inversion: Internal consistency is valued more highly than efficiency.

Peter's Law of Substitution: Look after the molehills and the mountains will look after themselves.

Peter's Observation: Super-competence is more objectionable than incompetence.

Phelps's Laws of Renovation: Any renovation project on an old house will cost twice as much and take three times as long as originally estimated. Any plumbing pipes you choose to replace during renovation will prove to be in excellent condition; those you decide to leave in place will be rotten.

Pierson's Law: If you're coasting, you're going downhill.

Axiom of the Pipe (Trischmann's Paradox): A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth.

Poulsen's Law: When anything is used to its full potential, it will break.

Pournelle's Law of Costs and Schedules: Everything costs more and takes longer.

Powell's Law: Never tell them what you wouldn't do.

Law of Predictive Action: The second most powerful phrase in the world is "Watch this!" The most powerful phrase is "Oh yeah? Watch this!"

Preudhomme's Law of Window Cleaning: It's on the other side.

Professional's Law: Doctors, dentists, and lawyers are only on time for appointments when you're not.

Proverbial Law: For every proverb that so confidently asserts its little bit of wisdom, there is usually an equal and opposite proverb that contradicts it.

First Rule of Public Speaking: Nice guys finish fast.

Pudder's Law: Anything that begins well ends badly. Anything that begins badly ends worse.

Putney's Law: If the people of a democracy are allowed to do so, they will vote away the freedoms which are essential to that democracy.

Putt's Law: Technology is dominated by two types of people -- those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand.

Ralph's Observation: It is a mistake to allow any mechanical object to realize that you are in a hurry.

Randolph's Cardinal Principle of Statecraft: Never needlessly disturb a thing at rest.

Rangnekar's Modified Rules Concerning Decisions: If you must make a decision, delay it. If you can authorize someone else to avoid a decision, do so. If you can form a committee, have them avoid the decision. If you can otherwise avoid a decision, avoid it immediately.

Rapoport's Rule of the Roller-Skate Key: Certain items which are crucial to a given activity will show up with uncommon regularity until the day when that activity is planned, at which point the item in question will disappear from the face of the earth.

Law of Reruns: If you have watched a TV series only once, and you watch it again, it will be a rerun of the same episode.

Law of Research: Enough research will tend to support your theory.

Law of Restaurant Acoustics: In a restaurant with seats which are close to each other, one will always find the decibel level of the nearest conversation to be inversely proportional to the quality of the thought going into it.

Law of Revelation: The hidden flaw never remains hidden.

First Law of Revision: Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after -and only after- the plans are complete (Often called the "Now they tell us!" Law). Corollary: In simple cases, presenting one obvious right way versus one obvious wrong way, it is often wiser to choose the wrong way, so as to expedite subsequent revision.

Second Law of Revision: The more innocuous the modification appears to be, the further its influence will extend and the more plans will have to be redrawn.

Third Law of Revision: If, when completion of a design is imminent, field dimensions are finally supplied as they actually are -instead of as they were meant to be- it is always easier to start all over. Corollary: It is usually impractical to worry beforehand about interferences -if you have none, someone will make one for you.

Fourth Law of Revision: After painstaking and careful analysis of a sample, you are always told that it is the wrong sample and doesn't apply to the problem.

Richard's Complementary Rules of Ownership: If you keep anything long enough you can throw it away. If you throw anything away, you will need it as soon as it is no longer accessible.

Richman's Inevitables of Parenthood: Enough is never enough. The sun always rises in the baby's bedroom window. Birthday parties always end in tears. Whenever you decide to take the kids home, it is always five minutes earlier that they break into fights, tears, or hysteria.

Riddle's Constant: There are coexisting elements in frustration phenomena which separate expected results from achieved results.

Riesman's Law: An inexorable upward movement leads administrators to higher salaries and narrower spans of control.

Rigg's Hypothesis: Incompetence tends to increase with the level of work performed. And, naturally, the individual's staff needs will increase as his level of incompetence increases.

Law of Road Construction: After large expenditures of federal, state, and county funds; after much confusion generated by detours and road blocks; after greatly annoying the surrounding population with noise, dust, and fumes -the previously existing traffic jam is relocated by one-half mile.

Rosenbaum's Rule: The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

(Al) Ross's Law: Bare feet magnetize sharp metal objects so they always point upward from the floor -- especially in the dark.

Rudin's Law: In a crisis that forces a choice to be made among alternative courses of action, most people will choose the worse one possible.

Runamok's Law: There are four kinds of people: those who sit quietly and do nothing, those who talk about sitting quietly and doing nothing, those who do things, and those who talk about doing things.

Runyon's Law: The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.

First Rule of Rural Mechanics: If it works, don't fix it.

Ryan's Law: Make three correct guesses consecutively and you will establish yourself as an expert.


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