Murphy's Laws M


MacDonald's Second Law
Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and give it back to them.

Macpherson's Theory of Entropy
It requires less energy to take an object out of it's proper place than to put it back.

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

Mae West's Observation
To err is human, but it feels terrific.

Mahr's Law of Restrained Involvement
Don't get any on you.

Maier's Law
If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.
1.The bigger the theory, the better.
2.The experiment may be considered a success if no more than 50% of the observed
measurements must be discarded to obtain a correspondence with the theory.
(Compensation Corollary)

Main's Law
For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.

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

Malinowski's Law
Looking from far above, from our high places of safety in the developed civilization, it is easy to see
all the crudity and irrelevance of magic.

Malloy's Maxim
The fact that monkeys have hands should give us pause.

Management Truths
1.Think before you act; it's not your money.
2.All good management is the expression of one great idea.
3.No executive devotes effort to proving himself wrong.
4.Cash in must exceed cash out.
5.Management capability is always less than the organization actually needs.
6.Either an executive can do his job or he can't.
7.If sophisticated calculations are needed to justify an action, don't do it.
8.If you are doing something wrong, you will do it badly.
9.If you are attempting the impossible, you will fail.
10.The easiest way of making money is to stop losing it.
11.Organizations always have too many managers.

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

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.

Mark Miller's Exception to Crane's Law
There are no "free lunches", but sometimes it costs more to collect money than to give away food.

Mark's mark
Love is a matter of chemistry; sex is a matter of physics.

Mark's Observation
Love is a matter of chemistry; sex is a matter of physics.

Marshall's Generalized Iceberg Theorem
Seven eighths of everything can't be seen.

Marshall's Universal Laws of Perpetual Perceptual Obfuscation
1.Nobody perceives anything with total accuracy.
2.No two people perceive the same thing identically.
3.Few perceive what difference it makes -- or care.

Martha's Maxim
If God had meant for us to travel tourist class, He would have made us narrower.

Martin's Exclusion
Committee reports dealing with wages, salaries, fringe benefits, facilities, computers, employee
parking, libraries, coffee breaks, secretarial support, etc., always call for dramatic expenditure

Martin's Law of Committees
All committee reports conclude that "it is not prudent to change the policy (or procedure, or
organization, or whatever) at this time."
Martin's Exclusion: Committee reports dealing with wages, salaries, fringe benefits, facilities,
computers, employee parking, libraries, coffee breaks, secretarial support, etc., always call for
dramatic expenditure increases.

Martin's Law of Communication
The inevitable result of improved and enlarged communication between different levels in a
hierarchy is a vastly increased area of misunderstanding.

Martin's Laws of Academia
1.The faculty expands its activity to fit whatever space is available, so that more space is always
2.Faculty purchases of equipment and supplies always increase to match the funds available, so
these funds are never adequate.
3.The professional quality of the faculty tends to be inversely proportional to the importance it attaches
to space and equipment.

Martin's Minimax Maxim
Everyone knows that the name of the game is to let the other guy have all of the little tats and to
keep all of the big tits for yourself.

Martin's Principle of Design Inertia
Any change looks terrible at first.

Martin-Berthelot Principle
Of all possible committee reactions to any given agenda item, the reaction that will occur is the one
which will liberate the greatest amount of hot air.

Mason's First Law of Synergism
The one day you'd sell your soul forsomething, souls are a glut.

Mason's Law of Gastro Intestinal Disorders
If your stomach only occasionally growls it will happen on the first date with a beautiful woman you
have been trying to get to go out with you for five months.

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.

First Maxim of Computers
To err is human, but to really screw things up requires a computer.

May's Law
The quality of the correlation is inversely proportional to the density of the control (the fewer the
facts, the smoother the curves).

May's Mordant Maxim
A university is a place where men of principle outnumber men of honor.

Maytag's Rule
Washing machines only break down during the wash cycle when they are full of water.

McCarthy's Law
Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the
game and dumb enough to think it's important.

McClaughry's Law of Public Policy
Politicians who vote huge expenditures to alleviate problems get re-elected; those who propose
structural changes to prevent problems get early retirement.

McClaughry's Law of Zoning
Where zoning is not needed, it will work perfectly; where it is desperately needed, it always breaks

McDonald's Second Law
Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and give it back to them.

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.

McGregor's Revised Maxim
The shortest distance between two points is under construction.

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

McIllvenna's Theory of Wrongness
1.If anything can go wrong, it will.
2.If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway.
3.If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.
4.If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.
5.If everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
6.If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
7.If everything seems to be going well, you obviously don't know what's going on.
8.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.

McKenna's Law
When you are right, be logical. When you are wrong, be-fuddle.

McLaughlin's Law
The length of any meeting is inversely proportional to the length of the agenda for that meeting.

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

McNaughton's Rule
Any argument worth making within the bureaucracy must be capable of being expressed in a simple
declarative sentence that is obviously true once stated.

Melcher's Law
In a bureaucracy, every routing slip will expand until it contains the maximum number of names that
can be typed in a single vertical column.

Mencken's Law
Those who can- do. Those who cannot- teach. Those who cannot teach- administrate.

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

Law of mental health
If you're feeling good, don't worry, you'll get over it.

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

Merrill's Corollaries
1.There are no winners in life; only survivors.
2.In the highway of life, the average happening is of about as much true significance as a dead skunk
in the middle of the road.

Merrill's Laws of Scholarship
1.Never let your major professor know that you exist.
2.The final exam will be based entirely on the one lecture you missed about the book you didn't read.
3.The more studying you did for the exam, the less sure you are as to which answer they want.
4.When you are occasionally able to schedule two classes in a row, they will be held in classrooms at
opposite ends of the campus.

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

Mesta's Law of Parties
Those who live closest arrive last.

Meteorological Law
As soon as the stewardess serves coffee, the airliner encounters turbulence.
Scientific Explanation
Serving coffee on an airliner causes turbulence.

Meyer's Law
In a social situation, that which is most difficult to do is usually the right thing to do.

Michehl's Theorem
Less is more.
Pastore's Comment on Michehl's Theorem
Nothing is ultimate.

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

Miksch's Law
If a string has one end, then it has another end.

Miller's Christmas Card Rule
After you've mailed your last card, you will receive a card from someone you've overlooked.

Miller's Law (Martin's Extension)
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):
1.This remains true even as you rush to catch the flight.
2.From this it follows that you are invariably rushing the wrong way.

Miscellaneous Pessimistic Musings
1.The chance of a piece of bread falling down with the buttered side down is directly proportional to
the cost of the carpet.
2.Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.
3.No matter how long or hard you shop for an item, after you've bought it, it will be on sale somewhere
else cheaper.
4.Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
5.Whatever plan one makes, there is a hidden difficulty somewhere.
6.If you do not understand a particular word in a piece of technical writing, ignore it. The piece will
make perfect sense without it.
7.eware the day in which you don't have something to bitch about.
8.If it looks easy it's tough. If it looks tough it's damn well impossible.
9.Complex problems have simple, easy-to-understand, wrong answers.
10.If everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
11.There is nothing so small that it can't be blown out of proportion.
12.If you're feeling good, don't worry. You'll get over it.
13.If people listened to themselves more often, they would talk less.

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

Mobil's Maxim
Bad regulation begets worse regulation.

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.

Montgomery's Maxim
If at first you don't succeed read the manual.

More of Murphy's Laws
Here is no limit to how bad things can get. There is no job so simple that it cannot be done wrong.
Morley's Conclusion
No man is lonely while eating spaghetti.

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

Morner's Rule of Thumb
Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.

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.

Mother Sigafoos's Observation
A man should be greater than some of his parts.

Mother's Laws
1.You can't fall off the floor. (it takes children three years to learn this law.)
2.A child will not spill on a dirty floor.
3.Any child who chatters non-stop at home will adamantly refuse to utter a word when requested to
demonstrate for an audience.
4.An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.

Motor Vehicle Postulate
Eighty percent of all people consider themselves to be above-average drivers.

Motorist's Axioms
1.The driver in front of you wants to go five miles per hour slower than you.
2.When you're not in a hurry, the traffic light will turn green as soon as your vehicle comes to a
complete stop.
3.You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
4.Your own car uses more gas and oil than anyone else's.
5.Four wheel drive just means getting stuck in more inaccessible places.
6.A short cut is the longest distance between two points.

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

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.

Mrs. Parkinson's Law
Heat produced by pressure expands to fill the mind available, from which it can pass only to a cooler

Muir's Law
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitchedto everything else in the universe.

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

Munroes Observation
Common sense is not that common.

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 like hell.

The Murphy Philosophy
Smile, tomorrow will be worse.

Murphy's Constant
Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.

Murphy's Corollaries
1.Murphy's Law may be delayed or suspended for an indefinite period of time, provided that such
delay or suspension will result in a greater catastrophe at a later date.
2.The magnitude of the catastrophe is directly proportional to the number of people watching.
3.The magnitude of the catastrophe is exponentially proportional to the importance of the occasion.
4.If an outcome has a 50% chance of occurring, its actual probability of happening is inversely
proportional to the desirability of the outcome.
5.If two corollaries of Murphy's Law contradict each other, the one with greater potential for damage
takes precedence.

Murphy's Faux Pas
1.The intensity of an itch is proportional to the formality of the occasion.
2.Light clothing attracts dark-colored food spills; Dark clothing attracts light- colored food spills.
3.The probability that you forget somebody's name is directly proportional to the degree to which they
would feel insulted.
4.Other people will not notice your subtle hints, no matter how hard you try.
5.You will not notice other people's subtle hints, no matter how hard they try.

Law of Murphy's Law
Murphy's law was not propounded by Murphy, but by another man with the same name.

Murphy's Law of Copiers
The legibility of a copy is inversely proportional to its importance.

Murphy's Law of Research
Enough research will tend to support your theory.

Murphy's Law of the Open Road
When there is a very long road upon which there is a one-way bridge placed at random, and there
are only two cars on that road, it follows that: (1) the two cars are going in opposite directions, and
(2) they will always meet at the bridge.

Murphy's Law of Thermodynamics
Things get worse under pressure.

Murphy's Restatement
Everything goes wrong all at once.

Murray's Consumer Axioms
1.Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.
2.Never ask a salesman if his is a good price.
3.Always hire a rich attorney.
4.Never buy from a rich salesman.

Law of Museums
The most interesting specimen will not be labeled.

The First Myth of Management
It exists.

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