Murphy’s law (also known as Finagle’s law or Sod’s law) is a popular adage in Western culture, which broadly states that things will go wrong in any given situation. “If there’s more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then somebody will do it that way.” It is most commonly formulated as “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” In American culture the law was named after Major Edward A. Murphy, Jr., a development engineer working for a brief time on rocket sled experiments done by the United States Air Force in 1949.
- A slice of buttered bread, when dropped, will always land butter-side down.
- Buses take ages to arrive, but when they do they always arrive in sets of three (in Britain “you wait ages for a bus, then two come along at once!”).
- When graphing, the graph paper is always one square too small for the perfect scale
- When caught in a traffic jam, the lane that you are in will always be the slowest to move. (This joke was played out in the opening sequence of the film Office Space, where one of the main characters changed lanes multiple times, all in vain as the traffic around him moved.)
- Nothing is as easy as it looks.
- Everything takes longer than you think. Or, everything takes twice as long as it should; excepting that which appears easy, taking three times as long.
- Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time.
- 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.
- If something simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.
- If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.
- Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
- If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
- Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
- It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
- Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
- Every solution breeds new problems.
- Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
- A Smith & Wesson beats four aces.
- Junk will grow to fill the available cupboard space.
- All small objects of value will disappear when set down.
- Magellan’s Allegory: If you stop and ask someone for directions, and they tell you “You can’t miss it”… then be assured that you will.
- If you make it idiot-proof, someone will make a better idiot.
- The light at the end of the tunnel is that of an oncoming train.
- When you put your pants on without looking – they will always be on backwards.
More detail can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy’s_law
For a funny aspect: http://www.crossroads.ca/kids/stories/murphys/murphys1.htm
For Vietnamese version: http://www.vnexpress.net/Vietnam/Khoa-hoc/2002/11/3B9C279D/