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Copy of Murphy's Laws Dictionary E - H

Murphy's Laws E - H


Law of economic dispersion

The one you want is never the one on sale. If you like it, they don't have it in your size. You never want the one you can afford.

Economists' Laws

1. What men learn from history is that men do not learn from history.

2. If on an actuarial basis there is a 50-50 chance that something will go wrong, it will actually go wrong nine times out of ten.

Ed Yourdonradar's Fundamental Truth

The grass is brown on both sides of the fence.

Ed's Fifth Rule of Procrastination

Spend sufficient time confirming the need and the need will disappear.

Edds Law of Radiology

The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body you are required to place on it.

Edington's Theory

The number of different hypotheses erected to explain a given biological phenomenon is inversely proportional to the available knowledge.

Law of Editorial Correction

Anyone nit-picking enough to write a letter of correction to an editor doubtless deserves the error that provoked it.

Ehre's Double-Door Law

In approaching a double door, you will always go to the one door that is locked, pull when you should have pushed, and push when the sign says pull.

Ehrlich's Rule

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts.

Ehrman's Commentary

Things will get worse before they will get better. Who said things would get better?

Ehrman's Commentary on Ginberg's Theorem

1. Things will get worse before they get better.

2. Who said things would get better?

Electronic theorem of television sets

A $300 picture tube will protect a 10½ fuse by blowing first

Elena's Laws of Animal Behavior

The probability of a cat eating it's dinner has absolutely nothing to do with the price of the food placed before it.

Eliot's Observation

Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.

Ellenberg's Theory

One good turn gets most of the blanket.

Emerson's Insight

That which we call sin in others is experiment for us.

Eng's Principles

The easier it is to do, the harder it is to change.

The "Enough Already" Law

The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets.

Law of Entropy

If you put a spoonful of wine in a barrel full of sewage you get sewage. If you put a spoonful of sewage into a barrel full of wine you still get sewage.

Epstein's Law

If you think the problem is bad now, just wait until we've solved it.

Erhard's Contention

Nothing matters very much, and few things matter at all.

Erskines Observation on Government Procurement

An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

Etorre'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.

Ettorre's Observation

The other line moves faster.

Evans's Law

Nothing worth a damn is ever done as a matter of principle. (If it is worth doing, it is done because it is worth doing. If it is not, it's done as a matter of principle.)

Evans's Law of Politics

When team members are finally in a position to help the team, it turns out they have quit the team.

Eve's Discovery

At a bargain sale, the only suit or dress that you like best and that fits is the one not on sale.

Adam's Corollary - It's easy to tell when you've got a bargain -- it doesn't fit.

Evelyn's Rules for Bureaucratic Survival

1. A bureaucrat's castle is his desk... and parking place. Proceed cautiously when changing either.

2. On the theory that one should never take anything for granted, follow up on everything, but especially those items varying from the norm. The greater the divergence from normal routine and/or the greater the number of offices potentially involved, the better the chance a never-to-be-discovered person will file the problem away in a drawer specifically designed for items requiring a decision.

3. Never say without qualification that your activity has sufficient space, money, staff, etc.

4. Always distrust offices not under your jurisdiction which say that they are there to serve you. "Support" offices in a bureaucracy tend to grow in size and make demands on you out of proportion to their service, and in the end require more effort on your part than their service is worth. Corollary - Support organizations can always prove success by showing service to someone... not necessarily you.

5. Incompetents often hire able assistants.

Everitt's Form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Confusion (entropy) is always increasing in society. Only if someone or something works extremely hard can this confusion be reduced to order in a limited region. Nevertheless, this effort will stil result in an increase in the total confusion of society at large.

Evvie Nef's Law

There is a solution to every problem; the only difficulty is finding it.

Experiential Law

Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

First Law of Expert Advice

Don't ask the barber whether you need a haircut.

Extended Epstein-Heisenberg Principle

In an R & D orbit, only 2 of the existing 3 parameters can be defined simultaneously. The parameters are: task, time, and resources ($).

1. If one knows what the task is, and there is a time limit allowed for the completion of the task, then one cannot guess how much it will cost.

2. If the time and resources ($) are clearly defined, then it is impossible to know what part of the R & D task will be performed.

3. If you are given a clearly defined R & D goal and a definte amount of money which has been calculated to be necessary for the completion of the task, one cannot predict if and when the goal will be reached.

4. If one is lucky enough to be able to accurately define all three parameters, then what one is dealing with is not in the realm of R & D.

Extended Murphy's Law

If a series of events can go wrong, it will do so in the worst possible sequence.


Faber's Laws

1. If there isn't a law, there will be.

2. The number of errors in any piece of writing rises in proportion to the writer's reliance on secondary sources.

Rule of Failure

If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you have tried.

Fairfax's Law

Any facts which, when included in the argument, give the desired result, are fair facts for the argument.

Falkland's Rule

When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.

Law of Fallibility

Everything put together falls apart sooner or later. Sooner or later, the worst possible set of circumstances is bound to occur.

Farber's Laws

1. Give him an inch and he'll screw you.

2. A hand in the bush is worth two anywhere else.

3. We're all going down the same road in different directions.

4. Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.

Farmer's Comment

If you mess with something long enough, it'll break.

Farnsdick's corollary

After things have gone from bad to worse, the cycle will repeat itself.

Farrow's Finding

If God had intended for us to go to concerts, He would have given us tickets.

Law of Fashion

Any given dress is: indecent 10 years before its time, daring 1 year before its time, chic in its time, dowdy 3 years after its time, hideous 20 years after its time, amusing 30 years after its time, romantic 100 years after its time, and beautiful 150 years after its time.

Faust's First Law of Synergism

The one day you'd sell your soul for something, souls are a glut on the market.

Featherkile's Rule

Whatever you did, that's what you planned to do.

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.

Feline Law

A cat walking into a room containing twelve seated people will jump into the lap of the person who hates cats the most.

Femo's Law Of Automotive Engine Repairing

If you drop something, it will never reach the ground.

Ferguson's Precept

A crisis is when you can't say "let's forget the whole thing."

Fetridge's Law

Important things that are supposed to happen do not happen, especially when people are looking.

Fett's Law of the Lab

Never replicate a successful experiment.

Fett's Law of the Lab (Fett's Law)

Never replicate a successful experiment.

Finagle's Creed

Science is Truth. Don't be misled by fact.

Finagle's First Law

If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

Finagle's Second Law

No matter what the experiment's result, there will always be someone eager to:

(a) misinterpret it. (b) fake it. or (c) believe it supports 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 immediately.

Finagle's Fourth Law

Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse.

Finagle's Law According to Niven

The perversity of the universe tends to a maximum.

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.

Finagle's Rules

Ever since the first scientific experiment, man has been plagued by the increasing antagonism of nature. It seems only right that nature should be logical and neat, but experience has shown that this is not the case. A further series of rules has been formulated, designed to help man accept the pigheadedness of nature.

1. To study a subject best, understand it thoroughly before you start.

2. Always keep a record of data. It indicates you've been working.

3. Always draw your curves, then plot the reading.

4. In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.

5. Law of Continuity Experiments should be reproducible. They should all fail in the same way. Correspondence Corollary An experiment may be considered a success if no more than half of your data must be discarded to obtain

6. When you don't know what you are doing, do it NEATLY.

7. Teamwork is essential; it allows you to blame someone else.

8. Always verify your witchcraft.

9. Be sure to obtain meteorological data before leaving on vacation.

10. Do not believe in miracles. Rely on them.

Finnigan's Law

In any collection of data, the figure most obviously correct, beyond all need of checking is the mistake.

Finster's Law

A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Firestone's Law of Forcasting

Chicken Little only has to be right once.

Firth's Law of Tailoring

No matter how many alterations, cheap pants never fit.

Fishbein's Conclusion

The tire is only flat on the bottom.

Fitz-Gibbon's Law

Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved with the broth.

Flagle's Law of the Perversity of Inanimate Objects (Flap's Law)

Any inanimate object, regardless of its composition or configuration, may be expected to perform at any time in a totally unexpected manner, for reasons that are either entirely obscure or else completely mysterious.

Flaw of Long-Range Planning

The longer ahead you plan a special event, and the more special it is, the more likely it is to go wrong.

Flip Wilson's Law

You can't expect to hit the jackpot if you don't put a few nickles in the machine.

Law For Free-Lance Artists

1. A high paying rush job will come in only after you've committed to a low paying rush job.

2. All rush jobs are due the same day.

3. The rush job you spent all night on won't be picked up by the customer for two days. Anything is easier to take apart than to put together

Ford Pinto Rule

Never buy a car that has a wick.

Formula for Public Office Survival

1. Exploit the inevitable (which means, take credit for anything good which happens whether you had anything to do with it or not).

2. Don't disturb the perimeter (meaning don't stir up a mess unless you can be sure of the result).

3. Stay in with the Outs (the Ins will make so many mistakes, you can't afford to alienate the Outs).

4. Go where the money is.

Forsyth's Second Corollary to Murphy's Laws

Just when you see the light at the end of the tunnel, the roof caves in.

Forthoffer's Cynical Summary of Barzun's Laws

· That which has not yet been taught directly can never be taught directly.

· If at first you don't succeed, you will never succeed.

Fortis's Three Great Lies of Life

1. Money isn't everything.

2. It's great to be a Negro.

3. I'm only going to put it in a little way.

Foster's Law

If you cover a congressional committee on a regular basis, they will report the bill on your day off.

Fourteenth Corollary of Atwood's General Law of Dynamic Negatives

No books are lost by loaning except those you particularly wanted to keep.

Fowler's Law

In a bureaucracy, accomplishment is inversely proportional to the volume of paper used.

Fowler's Note

The only imperfect thing in nature is the human race.

Frankel's Law

Whatever happens in government could have happened differently, and it usually would have been better if it had.

Corollary - Once things have happened, no matter how accidentally, they will be regarded as manifestations of an unchangeable Higher Reason.

Franklin's Observation

He that lives upon Hope dies farting.

Franklin's Rule

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall not be disappointed.

Fred Allen's Motto

I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy.

Freddie's Laws of Biomechanics

The severity of the itch is directly proportional to:

· The number of persons in the group you are with.

· The distance you must reach to scratch it.

· The more embarrassing the place that must be scratched.

Freeman's Commentary on Ginberg'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.

Freeman's Rule

Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.

Freemon's Rule

Circumstances can force a generalized incompetent to become competent, at least in a specialized field.

Fried's Law

Ideas endure and prosper in inverse proportion to their soundness and validity.

Law of Friendship

Anyone who is popular is bound to be disliked.

Frisch's Law

You cannot have a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.

Frothingham's Fallacy

Time is money.

Fudd's First Law of Opposition

If you push something hard enough, it will fall over.

Fulton's Law

When you need to knock on wood is when you discover that the world is made of aluminum, vinyl and fiberglass.

Fundamental Tenet of Reform

Reforms come from below. No man with four aces howls for a new deal.

Funkhouser's Law of the Power of the Press

The quality of legislation passed to deal with a problem is inversely proportional to the volume of media clamor that brought it on.

The Futility Factor (Carson's Consolation)

No experiment is ever a complete failure -- it can always serve as a bad example, or the exception that proves the rule (but only if it is the first experiment in the series).

Law of Future Results

Nothing ever comes out as planned.

Fyffe's Axiom

The problem-solving process will always break down at the point at which it is possible to determine who caused the problem.


Gadarene Swine Law

Merely because the group is in formation does not mean that the group is on the right course.

Galbraith's Law of Political Wisdom

Anyone who says he isn't going to resign, four times, definitely will.

Galbraith's Law of Prominence

Getting on the cover of "Time" guarantees the existence of opposition in the future.

Gallois's Revelation

If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes back out but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled, and no one dares to criticize it. Corollary - An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the Grand Fallacy.

Gardner's Rule of Society

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

Garfinkle's Law of Quality

of two possible events, only the undesired one will occur.

Gell-Mann's Dictum

Whatever isn't forbidden is required.

Corollary - If there's no reason why something shouldn't exist, then it must exist.

Law of General Assistance

In dealing with their own problems, helping professionals are the most extreme conservatives.. In dealing with the problems of others, they are the most extreme liberals.

Law of Generalizations

All generalizations are false.

Gerrold's Fundamental Truth

It's a good thing money can't buy happiness. We couldn't stand the commercials.

Gerrold's Law

A little ignorance can go a long way.

Lyall's Addendum the direction of maximum harm.

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.

Gerrold's Pronouncement

The difference between a politician and a snail is that a snail leaves its slime behind.

Gershwin's Law

It ain't necessarily so.

Getty's Reminder

The meek shall inherit the earth, but NOT its mineral rights.

Gibb's Law

Infinity is one lawyer waiting for another.

Gilb's Laws of Unreliability (see also Troutman's Laws of Computer Programming)

1. Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Corollary - At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.

2. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.

3. The only difference between the fool and the criminal who attacks a system is that the fool attacks unpredictably and on a broader front.

4. A system tends to grow in terms of complexity rather than of simplification, until the resulting unreliability becomes intolerable.

5. Self-checking systems tend to have a complexity in proportion to the inherent unreliability of the system in which they are used.

6. The error-detection and correction capabilities of any system will serve as the key to understanding the type of errors which they cannot handle.

7. Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in contrast to detectable errors, which by definition are limited.

8. All real programs contain errors until proved otherwise -- which is impossible.

9. Investment in reliability will increase until it exceeds the probable cost of errors, or somebody insists on getting some useful work done.

Gilmer's Motto for Political Leadership

Look over your shoulder now and then to be sure someone's following you.

Ginsberg's Theorems (Generalized Laws of Thermodynamics or Ginsberg's Restatement of the Three Laws of Thermodynamics)

1. You can't win.

2. You can't break even.

3. You can't even quit the game.

Glatum's Law of Materialistic Acquisitiveness

The perceived usefulness of an article is inversely proportional to its actual usefulness once bought and paid for.

Glyme's Formula for Success

The secret of success is sincerity. Onceyou can fake that, you've got it made.

Godin's Law

Generalizedness of incompetence is directly proportional to highestness in hierarchy.

(Vic) Gold's Law

The candidate who is expected to do well because of experience and reputation (Douglas, Nixon) must do BETTER than well, while the candidate expected to fare poorly (Lincoln, Kennedy) can put points on the media board simply by surviving.

(Bill) Gold's Law

A column about errors will contain errors.

Gold's Law

If the shoe fits, it's ugly.

Golden Principle

Nothing will be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.

The Golden Rule

He who has the gold, makes the rules.

The Golden Rule of Arts and Sciences

Whoever has the gold makes the rules.

Goldstein's Law

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

Goldwyn's Law of Contracts

A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.

Golub's Laws of Computerdom

1. Fuzzy project objectives are used to avoid the embarrassment of estimating the corresponding costs.

2. A carelessly planned project takes three times longer to complete than expected; if carefully planned, it will take only twice as long.

3. The effort required to correct course increases geometrically with time.

4. Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so vividly manifests their lack of progress.

The 19 Rules for Good Riting

1. Each pronoun agrees with their antecedent.

2. Just between you and I, case is important.

3. Verbs has to agree with their subject.

4. Watch out for irregular verbs which has cropped up into our language.

5. Don't use no double negatives.

6. A writer mustn't shift your point of view.

7. When dangling, don't use participles.

8. Join clauses good like a conjunction should.

9. And don't use conjunctions to start sentences.

10. Don't use a run-on sentence you got to punctuate it.

11. About sentence fragments.

12. In letters themes reports articles and stuff like that we use commas to keep strings apart.

13. Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.

14. Its important to use apostrophe's right.

15. Don't abbrev.

16. Check to see if you any words out.

17. In my opinion I think that the author when he is writing should not get into the habit of making use of too many unnecessary words which he does not really need.

18. Then, of course, there's that old one: Never use a preposition to end a sentence with.

19. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

Goodfader's Law

Under any system, a few sharpies will beat the rest of us.

Goodin's Law of Conversions

The new hardware will break down as soon as the old is disconnected and out.

Goodman's Law of Value

The more an item costs, the farther you have to send it for repairs.

Gordon's Dictum of Direction Giving

The possibility of getting lost is directly proportional to the number of times the direction-giver says "you can't miss it".

Gordon's First Law

If a research project is not worth doing at all, it is not worth doing well.

Goulden's Axiom of the Bouncing Can

If you drop a full can of beer, and remember to rap the top sharply with your knuckle prior to opening, the ensuing gush of foam will be between 89 and 94 percent of the volume that would splatter you if you didn't do a damned thing and went ahead and pulled the top immediately.

Goulden's Law of Jury Watching

If a jury in a criminal trial stays out for more than 24 hours, it is certain to vote acquittal, save in those instances when it votes guilty.

Government's Law

There is an exception to all laws.

Grabel's Law

2 is not equal to 3 - not even for very large values of 2.

Graditor's Laws

1. If it can break, it will, but only after the warranty expires.

2. A necessary item goes on sale only after you have purchased it at the regular price.

Grandma Soderquist's Conclusion

A chicken doesn't stop scratching just because the worms are scarce.

Gray's Law of Bilateral Asymmetry in Networks

Information flows efficiently through organizations, except that bad news encounters high impedance in flowing upward.

Gray's Law of Programming

N+1 trivial tasks are expected to be accomplished in the same time as N trivial tasks.

Loggs Rebuttal - N+1 trivial tasks take twice as long as N trivial tasks for N sufficiently large.

Rule of the Great

When someone you greatly admire and respect appears to be thinking deep thoughts, they are probably thinking about lunch.

Law of The Great Idea

The only time you come up with a great solution is after somebody else has solved the problem.

Green's Law of Debate

Anything is possible if you don't know what you'retalking about.

Greenberg's First Law of Influence

Usefulness is inversely proportional to reputation for being useful.

Greener's Law

Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel.

Greenhaus's Summation

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

Gresham's Law

Trivial matters are handled promptly; important matters are never resolved.

Greshams Observations

1. On the theory that one should never take anything for granted, follow up on everything, but especially those items varying from the norm.

2. The greater the divergence from normal routine and/or the greater the number of offices potentially involved, the better the chance a never-to-be-discovered person will file the problem away in a drawer specifically designed for items requiring a decision.

3. Never say without qualification that your activity has sufficient space, money, staff, etc.

4. Always distrust offices not under your jurisdiction which say that they are there to serve you. "Support" offices in a bureaucracy tend to grow in size and make demands on you out of proportion to their service, and in the end require more effort on your part than their service is worth. Corollary - Support organizations can always prove success by showing service to someone... not necessarily you.

5. Incompetents often hire able assistants.

Grierson's Law of Minimal Self- Delusion

Every man nourishes within himself a secret plan for getting rich that will not work.

Grocery Bag Law

The candy bar you planned to eat on the way home from the market is hidden at the bottom of the bag.

Grosch's Law

Computing power increases as the square of the cost. If you want to do it twice as cheaply, you have to do it four times slower.

Gross's Law

When two people meet to decide how to spend a third person's money, fraud will result.

Grossman's Law (Grossman's Misquote)

Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.

Grossman's Misquote

Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.

Gummidge's Law

The amount of expertise varies in inverse proportion to the number of statements understood by the general public.

Gumperson's Law

The probability of a given event occuring is inversely proportional to its desirability.


1. After a salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you had before.

2. The more a recruit knows about a given subject, the better chance he has of being assigned to something else.

3. You can throw a burnt match out the window of your car and start a forest fire, but you can use two boxes of matches and a whole edition of the Sunday paper without being able to start a fire under the dry logs in your fireplace.

4. Children have more energy after a hard day of play than they do after a good night's sleep.

5. The person who buys the most raffle tickets has the least chance of winning.

6. Good parking places are always on the other side of the street.

Gumperson's Proof

The most undesirable things are the most certain (death and taxes).

Gunter's First Law of Air Travel

When you are served a meal aboard an aircraft, the aircraft will encounter turbulence.

Gunter's Second Law of Air Travel

The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of you coffee.

Guthman's Law of Media

Thirty seconds on the evening news is worth a front page headline in every newspaper in the world.


H. L. Mencken's Law

Those who can -- do.

Those who cannot -- teach.

Those who cannot teach -- administrate. (Martin's Extension)

Haberdasher's Instruction

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

Hacker's Law

The belief that enhanced understanding will necessarily stir a nation or an organization to action is one of mankind's oldest illusions.

Hacker's Law of Personnel

Anyone having supervisory responsibility for the completion of a task will invariably protest that more resources are needed.

Hagerty's Law

If you lose your temper at a newspaper columnist, he'll get rich or famous or both.

Haldane's Law

The Universe is not only queerer than we imagine, it is queerer than we CAN imagine.

Hale's Rule

The sumptuousnss of a company's annual report is in inverse proportion to its profitability that year.

Hall's Law

There is a statistical correlation between the number of initials in an Englishman's name and his social class (the upper class having significantly more than three names, while members of the lower class average 2.6).

Halpern's Observation

The tendancy to err that programmers have been noticed to share with other human beings has often been treated as if it were an awkwardness attendant upon programming's adolescence, which (like acne) would disappear with the craft's coming of age. It has proved otherwise.

Hanlon's Razor

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Hardin's Laws

Every time you come up with a terrific idea, you find that someone else thought of it first.

You can never do merely one thing.

Hare's Additional Lie

This will hurt me more than it hurts you.

Harper's Law

You never find anything until you replace it.

Harper's Magazine's Law

You never find an article until you replace it.

Harris's Lament

All the good ones are taken.

Harris's Law

Any philosophy that can be put "in a nutshell" belongs there.

Harris's Restaurant Paradox

One of the greatest unsolved riddles of restaurant eating is that the customer usually gets faster service when the retaurant is crowded than when it is half empty; it seems that the less the staff has to do, the slower they do it.

Harrison's Postulate

For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

Hart's Law

In a country as big as the United States, you can find fifty examples of anything.

Hart's Law of The Conservation of Filth

In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty.

Freedman's Extension

You can get everything dirty without getting anything clean.

Hartig's "How Is Good Old Bill?" Didn't you know we're divorced Law

If there is a wrong thing to say, one will.

Hartig's Sleeve in the Cup, Thumb in the Butter Law

When one is trying to be elegant and sophisticated, one won't.

Hartley's First Law

The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action.

Hartley's Second Law

Never go to bed with anybody crazier than you are.

Hartley's Law

You can lead a horse to water, but if you can get him to float on his back you've got something.

Hartman's Automotive Laws

1. Nothing minor ever happens to a car on the weekend.

2. Nothing minor ever happens to a car on a trip.

3. Nothing minor ever happens to a car.

Harvard Law

Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables, any experimental organism will do as it damn well pleases.

Harvard's Law, as applied to Computers

Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity and other variables, the computer will do as it damn well pleases.

Harver's Law

A drunken man's words are a sober man's thoughts.

Hawkin's Theory of Progress

Progress does not consist of replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is right. It consists of replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is more subtly wrong.

Hearst's Law

Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel.

Hein's Law

Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back.

Heisenberg's Addendum to Brownian Bureaucracy

If you observe a bureaucrat closely enough to make the distinction above, he will react to your observation by covering his ass.

Heller's Myths of Management

The first myth of management is that it exists. The second myth of management is that success equals skill.

Corollary (Johnson) - Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within your organization.

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.

Hendrickson's Law

If a problem causes many meetings, the meetings eventually become more important than the problem.

Herblock's Law

If it's good, they'll stop making it.

Herman's Observation

Vital papers will demonstrate their vitality by moving from where you left them to where you can't find them.

Herrnstein's Law

The total attention paid to an instructor is a constant regardless of the size of the class.

Hersh's Law

Biochemistry expands to fill the space and time available for its completion and publication.

Law of Hierachical Communications

The inevitable result of improved communications between different levels in a hierarchy is a vastly increased area of misunderstanding.

Law of Highway Biology

The first bug to hit your clean windshield lands directly in front of your eyes.

Law of Highway Construction

The most heavily traveled streets spend the most time under construction.

Hildebrand's Law

The quality of a department is inversely proportional to the number of courses it lists in its catalogue.

Hill's Commentaries on Murphy's Laws

1. If we lose much by having things go wrong, take all possible care.

2. If we have nothing to lose by change, relax.

3. If we have everything to gain by change, relax.

4. If it doesn't matter, it does not matter.

Hind's Laws of Computer Programming

1. The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output.

2. Any non-trivial program contains at least one bug.

3. Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in contrast to detectable errors, which by definition are limited.

4. Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.

Historian's Rule

Any event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear inevitable by a competent historian.

First Rule of History

History doesn't repeat itself -- historians merely repeat each other.

Hoare's Law of Large Programs

Inside every large program is a small program struggling to get out.

Rhode's Corollary to Hoare's Law

Inside every complex and unworkable program is a useful routine struggling to be free.

Hoare's Law of Larger Problems

Inside every large problem is a small problem struggling to get out.

Hofstatler's Law

Things always take twice as long as you anticipate, even if you take into account Hofstatler's Law. (This corollary is often elevated to the rank of a law. Since it is only a special case of Murphy's Law, though, it provides further justification for elevating Murphy's Law to a demi-law.)

Hogg's Law of Station Wagons

The amount of junk is in direct proportion to the amount of space available.

Baggage Corollary - If you go on a trip taking two bags with you, one containing everything you need for the trip and the other containing absolutely nothing, the second bag will be completely filled with junk acquired on the trip when you ret

Holsworth's Laws

1. If you can only do one thing well there is no market for it.

2. You can never do just one thing.

Holten's Homilies

1. The only time to be positive is when you are positive you are wrong.

2. The chief cause of problems is solutions.

3. The one who does the least work, will get the most credit.

Horner's Five Thumb Postulate

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.

Horngren's Observation (generalized)

The real world is a special case.

Horowitz's Rule

A computer makes as many mistakes in two seconds as 20 men working 20 years.

Horticulturists Two Laws

1. Grass growing from sidewalk cracks never turns brown.

2. The life expectancy of a house plant varies inversely with its price and directly with it's ugliness.

Howard's First Law of Theater

Use it.

Howe's Law

Every man has a scheme that will not work.

Hubbard's Law

Don't take life too seriously; you won't get out of it alive.

Hull's Theorem

The combined pull of several patrons is the sum of their separate pulls multiplied by the number of patrons.

Hull's Warning

Never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river.

Hunter's Theory of Personnel Recruitment

Far-away talent always seems better than home-developed talent.

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