If anything can go wrong, it will.
Murphy was an optimist.
MURPHY’S FIRST COROLLARY
Nothing is as easy as it looks.
MURPHY’S SECOND COROLLARY
Everything takes longer than you think.
MURPHY’S THIRD COROLLARY
If there is a possibility of several things
going wrong, the one that will cause the most
damage will be the one to go wrong.
MURPHY’S FOURTH COROLLARY
Whenever you set out to do something,
something else must be done first.
MURPHY’S FIFTH COROLLARY
Every solution breeds new problems.
MURPHY’S SIXTH COROLLARY
It is impossible to make anything
foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
MURPHY’S SEVENTH COROLLARY
Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
MURPHY’S EIGHTH COROLLARY
Left to themselves, things tend to go
from bad to worse.
Matter will be damaged in direct proportion
to its value.
HILL’S COMMENTARIES ON MURPHY’S LAW
1.If we have much to lose by having things go wrong,
take all possible care.
2.If we have nothing to lose, relax.
3.If we have everything to gain, relax.
4.If it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter.
If you’re feeling good, don’t worry.
you’ll get over it.
MURPHY’S LAW OF MULTIPLES
If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a
procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way
will promptly develop.
THE ORDERING PRINCIPLE
The supplies necessary for yesterday’s
work must be ordered no later then noon tomorrow.
When things just can’t get any worse, they will.
Anytime things appear to be going better,
you have overlooked something.
SCOTT’S FIRST LAW
No matter what goes wrong, it will probably
SCOTT’S SECOND LAW
When an error has been detected and corrected
it will be found to have been correct in the first place.
FINAGLE’S FIRST LAW
If an experiment works, something has gone wrong
FINAGLE’S SECOND LAW
No matter what the anticipated result,
there will always be someone eager to
(a) misinterpret it,
(b) fake it, or
(c) believe it happened to his own pet theory.
FINAGLE’S THIRD LAW
In any collection of data, the figure most
obviously correct, beyond all need of checking, is the mistake.
1. No one whom you ask for help will see it.
2. Everyone who stops by with unsought advice will see it
FINAGLE’S FOURTH LAW
Once a job is fouled up, anything done to
improve it only makes it worse.
All Finagle’s Laws may be bypassed by learning
the simple art of doing without thinking.
Everything put together falls apart sooner or later.
The probability of anything happening is in
inverse ratio to its desirability.
ISSAWI’S LAWS OF PROGRESS
The Course of Progress:
Most things get steadily worse.
The Path of Progress:
A shortcut is the longest distance between two points.
MURPHY’S LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS
Things get worse under pressure.
THE UNSPEAKABLE LAW
As soon as you mention something….
… if it’s good, it goes away.
… if it’s bad, it happens.
90% of everything is crud.
If it looks easy, it’s tough.
If it looks tough, it’s impossible.
COMMONER’S SECOND LAW OF ECOLOGY
Nothing ever goes away.
Everyone has a scheme that will not work.
1. You can’t win
2. You can’t break even.
3. You can’t even quit the game.
In crises that force people to choose among
alternative courses of action, most people will choose the
worst one possible.
ZYMURGY’S FIRST LAW OF EVOLVING
Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recan them
is to use a larger can.
NON-RECIPROCAL LAWS OF EXPECTATIONS
Negative expectations yield negative results.
Positive expectations yield negative results.
HARPER’S MAGAZINE LAW
You never find an article until
you replace it.
RICHARD’S COMPLIMENTARY RULES OF OWNERSHIP
1. If you keep anything long enough, you can throw it away.
2. If you throw it away, you will need it the next day.
No matter how long or how hard you shop for an item,
after you’ve bought it, it will be on sale somewhere cheaper.
People who can least afford to pay rent,
pay rent. People who can most afford to pay rent, build up equity.
McCLAUGHRY’S LAW OF ZONING
Where zoning is not needed,it will
work perfectly. Where it is desperately needed, it will always
FIRST LAW OF BICYCLING
No matter which way you ride, it’s
uphill and against the wind.
THE AIRPLANE LAW
When the plane you are on is late, the plane
you want to transfer to is on time.
The secret of success is sincerity. Once you
can fake that, you’ve got it made.
FIRST LAW OF BRIDGE
It’s always the partner’s fault.
HARTLEY’S LAW FOR LOVERS
Never sleep with anyone crazier
RULE OF FELINE FRUSTRATION
When your cat has fallen asleep on
your lap and looks utterly content and adorable you will
suddenly have to go to the bathroom.
Everybody lies; but it doesn’t matter since
You always find something the last place you look.
Once you’ve found it, you quit looking!
Variables won’t; constants aren’t.
Anything that begins well, ends badly,
Anything that begins badly, ends worse.
There is always an easier way to do it.
When looking directly at the easier way,
especially for long periods, you will not see it.
LAW OF SELECTIVE GRAVITY
An object will fall so as to do the
The chance of the bread falling with the
buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the
It works better if you plug it in.
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).
LAW OF APPLIED CONFUSION
The piece that the plant forgot to
ship is the one that supports 75% of the balance of the shipment.
Not only did the plant forget to ship it, 50% of the time
they haven’t even made it.
SECOND LAW OF APPLIED CONFUSION
Truck deliveries that normally
take one day will take five when you are waiting for the truck.
JOHNSON’S FIRST LAW
When any mechanical contrivance fails,
it will do so at the most inconvenient possible time.
LAW OF THE LOST INCH
In designing any type of construction,
no overall dimension can be totalled correctly after 4:40p.m. Friday
The correct total will become self-evident at 9:01 a.m.
If it jams – force it. If it breaks, it needed
1. Things get worse before they get better.
2. Who said things would get better?
Build a system that even a fool can use,
and only a fool will want to use it.
LUBARSKY’S LAW OF CYBERNETIC ENTOMOLOGY
There is always one more bug.
ANTHONY’S LAW OF THE WORKSHOP
Any tool, when dropped,will roll
into the least accessible corner of the workshop.
LAW OF ANNOYANCE
When working on a project, if you put away a
tool that you’re certain you’re finished with, you will need it
If you mess with a thing long enough, it’ll break.
HORNER’S FIVE THUMB POSTULATE
Experience varies directly with
the equipment ruined.
When all else fails, read the instructions.
ANTHONY’S LAW OF FORCE
Don’t force it; get a larger hammer.
MURPHY’S LAW OF RESEARCH
Enough research will tend to support
If the facts do not conform to the theory,
they must be disposed of.
WILLIAMS AND HOLLAND’S LAW
If enough data is collected, anything
can be proven by statistical methods.
All great discoveries are made by mistake.
The greater the funding, the longer it takes to
make the mistake.
RULE OF ACCURACY
When working toward the solution of a
problem, it always helps if you know the answer.
HOARE’S LAW OF LARGE PROBLEMS
Inside every large problem
is a small problem struggling to get out.
MR. COOPER’S LAW
If you do not understand a particular word
in a piece of technical writing, ignore it. The piece will
make perfect sense without it.
Everybody should believe in something –
I believe I’ll have another drink.
STEWART’S LAW OF RETROACTION
It is easier to get forgiveness
All the good ones are taken.
LAWS OF GARDENING
1. Other people’s tools work only in other people’s gardens
2. Fancy gizmos don’t work.
3. If nobody uses it, there’s a reason.
The man who can smile when things go wrong has
thought of someone he can blame it on.
If you cannot convince them, confuse them.
FIRST LAW OF DEBATE
Never argue with a fool – people might
not know the difference.
1. No matter how much you do, you’ll never do enough.
2. What you don’t do is always more important than what you do.
SECOND LAW OF COMMITTO-DYNAMICS
The less you enjoy serving
on committees, the more likely you are to be pressed to do so.
The length of a meeting rises with the square
of the number of people present.
OLD AND KAHN’S LAW
The efficiency of a committee meeting is
inversely proportional to the number of participants and the time
spent on deliberations.
RULE OF THE GREAT
When somebody you greatly admire and respect
appears to be thinking deep thoughts, they are probably thinking
You can’t tell how deep a puddle is until you
step in it.
WELLINGTON’S LAW OF COMMAND
The cream rises to the top.
So does the scum.
1. When in doubt, mumble.
2. When in trouble, delegate.
3. When in charge, ponder.
Thinly sliced cabbage.
A good plan today is better than a perfect
WEINBERG’S FIRST LAW
Progress is made on alternate fridays.
In America, it’s not how much an item costs,
it’s how much you save.
THE GOLDEN RULE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Whoever has the gold
makes the rules.
To estimate the time it takes to do a task,
estimate the time you think it should take, multiply by 2, and
change the unit of measure to the next highest unit. Thus we
allocate 2 days for a one-hour task.
PARKINSON’S SECOND LAW
Expenditures rise to meet income.
Government expands to absorb revenue and then some.
PARKINSON’S LAW OF DELAY
Delay is the deadliest form of denial.
Nothing ever gets built on schedule or
NINETY-NINETY RULE OF PROJECT SCHEDULES
The first ninety percent of the task takes ninety percent of the
time, and the last ten percent takes the other ninety percent.
LEVY’S NINTH LAW
Only God can make a random selection.
Trivial matters are handled promptly;
important matters are never solved.
THE MURPHY PHILOSOPHY
Smile … tomorrow will be worse.
A fool and your money are soon partners.
LAW OF INSTITUTIONS
The opulence of the front office decor
varies inversely with the fundamental solvency of the firm.
The compromise will always be more expensive
than either of the suggestions it is compromising.
JOHN’S COLLATERAL COROLLARY
In order to get a loan you must
first prove you don’t need it.
REVEREND CHICHESTER’S LAWS
1. If the weather is extremely bad, church attendance will be down.
2. If the weather is extremely good, church attendance will be down.
3. If the bulletin covers are in short supply, church attendance
will exceed all expectations.
Any simple idea will be worded in the most
O’BRIEN’S PRINCIPAL (THE $357.73 THEORY)
Auditors always reject any expense account with a bottom line
divisible by 5 or 10.
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t
have to do it himself.
WEINBERG’S SECOND LAW
If builders built buildings the way
programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came
along would destroy civilization.
THEORY OF SELECTIVE SUPERVISION
The one time in the day that
you lean back and relax is the one time the Boss walks through
There are two types of people: those who
divide people into two types, and those who don’t.
FIRST LAW OF SOCIO-GENETICS
Celibacy is not hereditary.
MR. COLE’S AXIOM
The sum of the intelligence on the planet
is a constant; the population is growing.
CANADA BILL JONES’ MOTTO
It’s morally wrong to allow
suckers to keep their money.
Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.
McCLAUGHRY’S CODICIL ^TO JONES’ MOTTO
To make an enemy, do someone a favor.
NEWTON’S LITTLE-KNOWN SEVENTH LAW
A bird in the hand is
safer than one overhead.
O’REILLY’S LAW OF THE KITCHEN
Cleanliness is next to impossible.
It won’t work.
HAMILTON’S RULE FOR CLEANING GLASSWARE
The spot you are
scrubbing is always on the other side.
WALKER’S LAW OF THE HOUSEHOLD
There is always more dirty
laundry than clean laundry.
CLIVE’S REBUTTAL TO WALKER’S LAW
If it’s clean, it isn’t laundry.
A child will not spill on a dirty floor.
FIRST LAW OF KITCHEN CONFUSION
In a family recipe you just
discovered in an old book, the most vital measurement will
SECOND LAW OF KITCHEN CONFUSION
Once a dish is fouled up,
anything added to save it only makes it worse.
THIRD LAW OF KITCHEN CONFUSION
You are always complimented
on the item which took the least effort to prepare.
If you make “duck a l’orange” you will be
complimented on the baked potato.
FOURTH LAW OF KITCHEN CONFUSION
The one ingredient you make
a special trip to the store to get will be the one your guest
is allergic to.
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
The probability of a young man meeting
a desirable and receptive young female increases by pyramidal
progression when he is already in the company of
(1) a date,
(2) his wife,
(3) a better looking and richer male friend.
When the going gets tough, everybody leaves.
EVANS AND BJORN’S LAW
No matter what goes wrong, there is
always somebody who knew it would.
If you wait, it will go away.
… having done its damage.
If it was bad, it’ll be back.
Opportunity always knocks at the
least opportune moment.
When you need to knock on wood is when you realize
the world’s composed of aluminum and vinyl.
LAW OF THE SEARCH
The first place to look for anything is
the last place you would expect to find it.
You can always find what you’re not looking for.
If you don’t care where you are, you ain’t lost.
A crisis is when you can’t say let’s
forget the whole thing.
You can make it foolproof, but you can’t
make it damn-foolproof.
IMBESI’S LAW OF THE CONSERVATION OF FILTH
In order for something to become clean, something else
must become dirty.
… but you can get everything dirty
without getting anything clean.
GROSSMAN’S MISQUOTE OF H.L.MENCKEN
Complex problems have
simple, easy-to-understand wrong answers.
Don’t worry over what other people are
thinking about you. They’re too busy worrying over what you are
thinking about them.
FIRST LAW OF TRAVEL
It always takes longer to get there than
to get back.
The item you had your eye on the minute you
walked in will be taken by the person in front of you.
The other line is always faster.
O’BRIEN’S VARIATION ON ETORRE’S OBSERVATION
If you change
lines, the one you just left will start to move faster than the
one you are now in.
Switching back screws up both lines and makes
THE QUEUE PRINCIPLE
The longer you wait in line, the greater
likelihood that you are standing in the wrong line.
The slowest checker is always at the quick-
Whenever you cut your fingernails you will
find a need for them an hour later.
THOM’S LAW OF MARITAL BLISS
The length of a marriage is
inversely proportional to the amount spent on the wedding.
MURRAY’S FIRST RULE OF THE ARENA
Nothing is ever so bad
it can’t be made worse by firing the coach.
MURRAY’S SECOND RULE OF THE ARENA
A free agent is anything but.
MURRAY’S THIRD RULE OF THE ARENA
Whatever can go to New York will..
KNOX’S PRINCIPAL OF STAR QUALITY
Whenever a superstar is traded
to your favorite team, he fades. Whenever your team trades away
a useless no-name, he immediately rises to stardom.
LAVIA’S LAW OF TENNIS
A mediocre player will sink to the
level of his or her opposition.
THE RULE OF THE RALLY
The only way to make up for being
lost is to make record time while you are lost.
If a situation requires undivided attention,
it will occur simultaneously with a compelling distraction.
JONES’ LAW OF ZOOS AND MUSEUMS
The most interesting
specimen will not be labeled.
For every action, there is an equal
and opposite criticism.
The bigger they are, the harder they hit.
LOFTUS’ FIFTH LAW OF MANAGEMENT
Some people manage by the
book even though they don’t know who wrote the book
or even what book.
HECHT’S FOURTH LAW
There’s no time like the present for
postponing what you don’t want to do.
PARKINSON’S FIFTH LAW
If there is a way to delay an important
decision, the good bureaucracy, public or private, will find it.
Authorization for a project will be granted
only when none of the authorizers can be blamed if the project
fails but when all of the authorizers can claim credit if it
MOLLISOMN’S BUREAUCRACY HYPOTHESIS
If an idea can survive
a bureaucratic review and be implemented, it wasn’t worth doing.
A meeting is an event at which the minutes are
kept and the hours are lost.
You never know who’s right, but you always
know who’s in charge.
LOFTUS’ THEORY ON PERSONNEL RECRUITMENT
Far away talent always seems better then home-developed talent.
FIRST RULE OF NEGATIVE ANTICIPATION
You will save yourself
a lot of needless worry if you don’t burn your bridges until
you come to them.
PORKINGHAM’S FIRST LAW OF SPORT FISHING
The worse your line
is tangled, the better is the fishing around you.
PORKINGHAM’S SECOND LAW OF SPORT FISHING
The time available
to go fishing shrinks as the fishing season draws nearer.
PORKINGHAM’S THIRD LAW OF SPORT FISHING
The least experienced
fisherman always catches the biggest fish.
The more elaborate and costly the equipment, the
greater chance of having to stop at the fish market on the way home.
SPENCER’S LAWS OF DATA
1. Anyone can make a decision given enough facts.
2. A good manager can make a decision without enough facts.
3. A perfect manager can operate in perfect ignorance.
DREW’S LAW OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
The client who
pays the least complains the most.
For every vision, there is an equal and opposite
When somebody drops something, everybody
will kick it around instead of picking it up.
LAW OF PROBABLE DISPERSAL
Whatever hits the fan will not
be evenly distributed.
The inside contact that you have developed at great
expense is the first person to be let go in any reorganization.
Never make a decision you can
get someone else to make.
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.
Pure drivel tends to drive ordinary
drivel off the TV screen.
SWIPPLE RULE OF ORDER
He who shouts loudest has the floor.
MATILDA’S LAW OF SUB-COMMITTEE FORMATION
If you leave the room, you’re elected.
You can never do just one thing.
KNAGG’S DERIVATIVE OF MURPHY’S LAW
The more complicated and
grandiose the plan, the greater the chance of failure.
Any task worth doing was worth doing yesterday.
WETHERN’S LAW OF SUSPENDED JUDGEMENT
Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups.
FIRST WORKSHOP PRINCIPLE
The one wrench or drill bit you need
will be the one missing from the tool chest.
SECOND WORKSHOP PRINCIPLE
Most projects require three hands.
THIRD WORKSHOP PRINCIPLE
Leftover nuts never match
FOURTH WORKSHOP PRINCIPLE
The more carefully you plan a
project, the more confusion there is when something goes wrong.
JARUK’S SECOND LAW
If it would be cheaper to buy a new unit,
the company will insist upon repairing the old one.
If it would be cheaper to repair the old one, the
company will insist on the latest model.
Only errors exist.
BERMAN’S COROLLARY TO ROBERT’S AXIOM
One man’s error is another
FIFTH LAW OF UNRELIABILITY
To err is human, but to really
foul things up requires a computer.
FIRST LAW OF OFFICE MURPHOLOGY
Important letters which contain
no errors will develope errors in the mail.
Corresponding errors will show up in the duplicate
while the boss is reading it.
SECOND LAW OF OFFICE MURPHOLOGY
Office machines which function
perfectly during normal business hours will break down when you
return to the office at night to use them for personal business.
THIRD LAW OF OFFICE MURPHOLOGY
Machines that have broken down
will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.
FOURTH LAW OF OFFICE MURPHOLOGY
Envelopes and stamps which
don’t stick when you lick them will stick to other things when
you don’t want them to.
FIFTH LAW OF OFFICE MURPHOLOGY
Vital papers will demonstrate
their vitality by spontaneously moving from where you left them
to where you can’t find them.
SIXTH LAW OF OFFICE MURPHOLOGY
The last person who quit or
was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes
wrong – until the next person quits or is fired.
If you hit two keys on the typewriter, the
one you don’t want hits the paper.
DEAL’S FIRST LAW OF SAILING
The amount of wind will vary
inversely with the number and experience of the people you
take on board.
DEAL’S SECOND LAW OF SAILING
No matter how strong the breeze
when you leave the dock, once you have reached the furthest point
from port the wind will die.
SHEDENHELM’S LAW OF BACKPACKING
All trails have more uphill
sections than they have level or downhill sections.
Washing machines only break down during the
All breakdowns occur on the plumber’s day off.
FINAGLE’S EIGHTH RULE
Teamwork is essential. It allows you
to blame someone else.
MURPHY’S GUIDE TO MODERN SCIENCE
1. If it’s green or wriggles, it’s biology.
2. If it stinks, it’s chemistry.
3. If it doesn’t work, it’s physics.
LERMAN’S LAW OF TECHNOLOGY
Any technical problem can be overcome
given enough time and money.
You are never given enough time or money.
THE RULER RULE
There is no such thing as a straight line.
GRELB’S LAW OF ERRORING
In any series of calculations, errors
tend to occur at the opposite end from the end at which you begin
checking for errors.
At any event, the people whose seats are furthest
from the aisle arrive last.
MICHEHL’S RULE FOR PROSPECTIVE MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS
The mountain gets steeper as you get closer.
The mountain look closer than it is.
TODD’S FIRST LAW
All things being equal, you lose.
All things being in your favor, you still lose.
LAW OF LIFE’S HIGHWAY
If everything is coming your way,
you’re in the wrong lane.
ATHENA’S RULE OF DRIVING COURTESY
If you allow someone to get
in front of you, you both will have the same destination, and
the other car will get the last parking space.
When you’re not in a hurry, the traffic light
will turn green as soon as your vehicle comes to a complete stop.
DREW’S LAW OF HIGHWAY BIOLOGY
The first bug to hit a clean
windshield lands directly in front of your eyes.
CAMPBELL’S FIRST LAW OF AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR
If you can get
to the faulty part, you don’t have the tool to get it off.
CAMPBELL’S SECOND LAW OF AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR
If you can get
the part off, the parts house will have it back-ordered.
CAMPBELL’S THIRD LAW OF AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR
If it’s in stock,
it didn’t need replacing in the first place.
LEMAR’S PARKING POSTULATE
If you have to park six blocks away,
you will find two new parking spaces right in front of the building.
BROMBERG’S FIRST LAW OF AUTO REPAIR
When the need arises, any
tool or object closest to you becomes a hammer.
BROMBERG’S SECOND LAW OF AUTO REPAIR
No matter how minor the
task, you will inevitably end up covered with grease and motor oil.
FEMO’S LAW OF AUTOMOTIVE ENGINE REPAIRING
If you drop something, it will never reach the ground.
JOHNSON’S THIRD LAW
If you miss one issue of any magazine,
it will be the issue which contained the article, story or
installment you were most anxious to read.
All of your friends either missed it, lost it,
or threw it out.
ATWOOD’S FOURTEENTH COROLLARY
No books are lost by lending
except those you particularly wanted to keep.
BESS’ UNIVERSAL PRINCIPALS
1. The telephone will ring when you are outside the door,
fumbling for your keys.
2. You will reach it just in time to hear the click of the
caller hanging up.
When you dial a wrong number, you never
get a busy signal.
Most people deserve each other.
ARTHUR’S FIRST LAW OF LOVE
People to whom you are attracted
invariably think you remind them of someone else.
ARTHUR’S SECOND LAW OF LOVE
The love letter you finally got
the courage to send will be delayed in the mail long enough for
you to make a fool of yourself in person.
The one who snores will fall asleep first.
GILLENSON’S (de-sexed) LAW OF EXPECTATION
Never get excited
about a blind date because of how it sounds over the phone.
If you help a friend in need, he is sure to
remember you – the next time he’s in need.
Virtue is its own punishment.
If you do something right once, someone
will ask you to do it again.
RUBY’S PRINCIPAL OF CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
The probability of
meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone
you don’t want to be seen with.
To err is human – to blame it on someone else
is even more human.
ISKE’S TEENAGE COROLLARY TO PARKINSON’S LAW
The stomach expands to accommodate the amount of junk food available.
If you buy bananas or avocados before they
are ripe, there won’t be any left by the time they are ripe.
If you buy them ripe, they rot before they are eaten.
BRITT’S GREEN THUMB POSTULATE
The life expectancy of a house
plant varies inversely with its price and directly with its
BALLANCE’S LAW OF RELIABILITY
How long a minute is depends
on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.
JONES’ FIRST LAW OF TV PROGRAMMING
The only new show worth
watching will be canceled.
JONES’ SECOND LAW OF TV PROGRAMMING
If there are only two
shows worth watching, they will be on at the same time.
JONES’ THIRD LAW OF TV PROGRAMMING
The show you’ve been looking
forward to all week will be preempted.
RUAN’S APPLICATION OF PARKINSON’S LAW
to fill the space available for their storage.
Authority tends to assign jobs to those
least able to do them.
ZYMURGY’S LAW OF VOLUNTEER LABOR
People are always available
for work in the past tense.
In any organization there will always be one
person who knows what is going on. This person must be fired.
SEIT’S LAW OF HIGHER EDUCATION
The one course you must take
to graduate will not be offered during your last semester.
FIRST LAW OF CLASS SCHEDULING
Class schedules are designed
so that every student will waste the maximum time between classes.
SECOND LAW OF CLASS SCHEDULING
A pre-requisite for a desired
course will only be offered during the semester following
the desired course.
FIRST LAW OF APPLIED TERROR
When reviewing your notes before
an exam, the most important ones will be illegible.
SECOND LAW OF APPLIED TERROR
The more studying you did for
the exam, the less sure you are as to which answer they want.
THIRD LAW OF APPLIED TERROR
80% of the final exam will be based
on the one lecture you missed about the one book you didn’t read.
FOURTH LAW OF APPLIED TERROR
Every instructor assumes that
you have nothing else to do except study for that instructor’s
FIFTH LAW OF APPLIED TERROR
If you are given an open-book
exam, you will forget the book.
If you are given a take-home exam, you will forget
where you live.
SIXTH LAW OF APPLIED TERROR
At the end of the semester you will
recall having enrolled in a course at the beginning of the semester
and never attending.
DUGGAN’S LAW OF SCHOLARLY RESEARCH
The most valuable quotation
will be the one for which you cannot determine the source.
ROMINGER’S RULES FOR STUDENTS
1. The more general the title of a course, the less you will
learn from it.
2. The more specific a title is, the less you will be able to
apply it later.
Everything is in a state of utter
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.
TERMAN’S LAW OF INNOVATION
If you want a track team to win
the high jump, you find one person who can jump seven feet, not
seven people who can jump one foot.
CHURCHILL’S COMMENTARY ON MAN
Man will occasionally stumble
over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up
and continue on.
Sow your wild oats on Saturday night –
then on Sunday pray for crop failure.
A conclusion is the place where you get
tired of thinking.
FAGIN’S RULE ON PAST PREDICTIONS
Hindsight is an exact science.
When in doubt, predict that the trend
It is a simple task to make things complex, but
a complex task to make them simple.
If you have a difficult task give it to a lazy
man, he will find an easier way to do it.
MATZ’S RULE REGARDING MEDICATIONS
A drug is that substance
which, when injected into a rat, will produce a scientific report.
Before ordering a test decide what you
will do if it is 1) positive, or 2) negative. If both answers are
the same, don’t do the test.
MOSER’S LAW OF SPECTATOR SPORTS
Exciting plays occur only
while you are watching the scoreboard or out buying a hot dog.
MURRAY’S RULE OF FOOTBALL
The wrong quarterback is the one
that’s in there.
MURRAY’S LAW OF HOCKEY
Hockey is a game played by six
good players and a home team.
GROUND RULE FOR LABORATORY WORKERS
When you do not know
what you are doing, do it neatly.
In any dealings with a collective body of people,
the people will always be more tacky than originally expected.
SPENCER’S LAWS OF ACCOUNTABILITY
1. Trial balances don’t.
2. Working capital doesn’t.
3. Liquidity tends to run out.
4. Return on investments won’t.
Nothing is ever done for the right reasons.
An expert is one who knows more and more
about less and less until he knows absolutely everything
To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts
the job will take the longest and cost the most.
An expert is anyone from out of town.
GREEN’S LAW OF DEBATE
Anything is possible if you don’t know
what you’re talking about.
All great discoveries are made by mistake.
LAW OF REVELATION
The hidden flaw never remains hidden.
SODD’S SECOND LAW
Sooner or later, the worst possible set of
circumstances is bound to occur.
FIRST PRINCIPLE FOR PATIENTS
Just because your doctor has
a name for your condition doesn’t mean he knows what it is.
SECOND PRINCIPLE FOR PATIENTS
The more boring and out-of-date
the magazines in the waiting room, the longer you will have to
wait for your scheduled appointment.
THIRD PRINCIPLE FOR PATIENTS
Only adults have difficulty with
FOURTH PRINCIPLE FOR PATIENTS
You never have the right number
of pills left on the last day ofa prescription.
FIFTH PRINCIPLE FOR PATIENTS
If your condition seems to be
getting better, it’s probably your doctor getting sick.
TELESCO’S FIRST LAW OF NURSING
All the IVs are at the
other end of the hall.
TELESCO’S SECOND LAW OF NURSING
There are two kinds of
the one that won’t stay on and the one that won’t
WORKING COOK’S LAWS
1. If you’re wondering if you took the meat out to thaw, you didn’t.
2. If you’re wondering if you left the coffee pot plugged in,
WITZLING’S LAW OF PROGENY PERFORMANCE
Any child who chatters
non-stop at home will refuse to utter a sound when asked to
demonstrate for a visitor.
VAN ROY’S LAW
An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.
FISH’S FIRST LAW OF ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
The probability of a cat
eating its dinner has absolutely nothing to do with the price
of the food placed before it.
FISH’S SECOND LAW OF ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
The probability that a
household pet will raise a fuss is directly proportional to the
number and importance of your guests.
RON’S OBSERVATION ON TEENAGERS
The pimples don’t appear until
the hour before the date.
There are some things which are impossible
to know – but it is impossible to know which things these are.
GRAY’S BUS LAW
A bus will arrive only when the would-be
rider has walked to a point so close to the destination that
it is no longer worthwhile to board the bus.
LAW OF THE INDIVIDUAL
Nobody really cares or understands
what anyone else is doing.
Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean
to the bone.
THE SAUSAGE PRINCIPLE
People who love sausage and respect
the law should never watch either one being made.
THE WATERGATE PRINCIPLE
government corruption is always
reported in the past tense.
TODD’S FIRST TWO PRINCIPLES
1. No matter what they’re telling you, they’re not telling you
the whole truth.
2. No matter what they’re talking about, they’re taking about money.
Where you stand depends on where you sit.
THE KENNEDY CONSTANT
Don’t get mad – get even.
The radiologists’ national flower is the hedge.
FIRST LAW OF PHOTOGRAPHY
The best shots happen immediately
after the last frame is exposed.
SECOND LAW OF PHOTOGRAPHY
The best shots are generally attempted
through the lens cap.
THIRD LAW OF PHOTOGRAPHY
The best shots will be ruined when
someone inadvertently opens the darkroom door.
THE DIALECTICS OF PROGRESS
Direct action produces direct reaction.
THE ARMY AXIOM
Any order that can be misunderstood has been
IMHOFF’S LAW The organization of any bureaucracy is very much
like a septic tank – the really big chunks always rise to the top.
SPARK’S FIRST RULE FOR THE PROJECT MANAGER
Strive to look tremendously important.
SPARK’S SECOND RULE FOR MANAGERS
Attempt to be seen with
SPARK’S THIRD RULE FOR MANAGERS
Speak with authority; however,
only expound on the obvious and proven facts.
SPARK’S FOURTH RULE FOR MANAGERS
Don’t engage in arguments,
but if cornered, ask an irrelevant question and lean back with a
satisfied grin while your opponent tries to figure out what’s going
on – then quickly change the subject.
SPARK’S FIFTH RULE FOR MANAGERS
Always keep the office door
closed. This puts visitors on the defensive and also makes it look
as if you are always in an important conference.
JAY’S FIRST LAW OF LEADERSHIP
Changing things is central to
leadership, and changing them before anyone else is creativeness.
JACQUIN’S POSTULATE ON DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT
No man’s life,
liberty, or property are safe while legislature is in session.
A pipe gives a wise man time to think
and a fool something to stick in his mouth.
Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.
In a three-story building served by one elevator,
nine times out of ten the elevator car will be on a floor you are
THE SNAFU EQUATION
The object or bit of information most needed
will be the one least available.
TROUTMANN’S PROGRAMMING POSTULATE #1
job control cards that
positively cannot be arranged in improper order will be.
TROUTMANN’S PROGRAMMING POSTULATE #2
Profanity is the one
language all programmers know best.
PROFESSOR BLOCK’S MOTTO
Forgive and remember.
GLIB’S LAW OF UNRELIABILITY
Computers are unreliable, but
humans are even more unreliable.
LAW OF THE PERVERSITY OF NATURE
You cannot successfully
determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.
The first myth of management is that it exists.
Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere
within the organization.
Circumstances can force a generalized incompetent
to become competent, at least in a specialized field.
Mc GOWAN’S CHRISTMAS SHOPPING AXIOM
If an item is advertised
as “under $50.00”, you can bet it’s not $19.95.
LUPOSCHAINSKY’S HURRY-UP-AND-WAIT PRINCIPLE
If you’re early, it’ll be cancelled.
If you knock yourself out to be on time, you will have to wait.
If you’re late, you will be too late.
Simple jobs always get put off because there
will be time to do them later.
THUMB’S SECOND POSTULATE
An easily-understood, workable falsehood
is more useful than a complex, incomprehensible truth.
If you can keep your head when all about you are
losing theirs, then you just don’t understand the problem.
Beware of the physician who is great at getting
out of trouble.
WISE FAN’S LAMENT
Fools rush in – and get the best seats.
The one who least wants to play is the one who will win
BROOK’S LAWS OF RETAILING
Sale promotions don’t.
Consumer assistance doesn’t.
FINMAN’S BARGAIN BASEMENT PRINCIPLE
The one you want is never
the one on sale.
HERSHISER’S FIRST RULE
Anything labeled “NEW” and/or “IMPROVED”
HERSHISER’S SECOND RULE
The label “NEW” and/or “IMPROVED”
means the price went up.
HERSHISER’S THIRD RULE
The label “ALL NEW”,”COMPLETELY NEW”
or “GREAT NEW” means the price went way up.
HADLEY’S FIRST LAW OF CLOTHING SHOPPING
If you like it, they
don’t have it in your size.
HADLEY’S SECOND LAW OF CLOTHING SHOPPING
If you like it and its
in your size, it doesn’t fit anyway.
HADLEY’S THIRD LAW OF CLOTHING SHOPPING
If you like it and it
fits, you can’t afford it.
HADLEY’S FOURTH LAW OF CLOTHING SHOPPING
If you like it, it fits,
and you can afford it, it falls apart the first time you wash it.
If it’s good, they discontinue it.
If the shoe fits, it’s ugly.
The “Consumer Report” on the item will come out
a week after you’ve made your purchase.
1. The one you bought will be rated “unacceptable”.
2. The one you almost bought will be rated “best buy”.
MURPHY’S TENTH COROLLARY
Mother nature is a bitch.
SINETETO’S FIRST LAW OF CONSUMERISM
A 60-day warranty guarantees
that the product will self-destruct on the 61st day.
FIRST RULE OF INTELLIGENT TINKERING
Save all the parts.
People will buy anything that’s one to a customer.
LAW OF GIFTS
You get the most of what you need the least.
CHISHOLM’S FIRST COROLLARY
If you do something which you are
sure will meet with everybody’s approval, somebody won’t like it.
CHICHOLM’S SECOND COROLLARY
If you explain so clearly that nobody
can misunderstand, somebody will.
QUANTUM REVISION OF MURPHY’S LAW
Everything goes wrong all at once.
A proliferation of new laws creates a
proliferation of new loopholes.
The number of laws will expand to fill
the publishing space available.
THE LAST LAW
If several things that could have gone wrong
have not gone wrong, it would have been ultimately beneficial
for them to have gone wrong.
Never put off until tomorrow that which you could
have forgotten about entirely.