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Nachman's Rule: When it comes to foreign food, the less authentic the better.

Nader's Law: The speed of exit of a civil servant is directly proportional to the quality of his service.

Naeser's Law: You can make it foolproof, but you can't make it dam foolproof.

Nagler’s Comment on the Origin of Murphy’s Law: Murphy’s law was not pronounced by Murphy,
    but by another man of the same name.

Napoleon's Observation: Rascality has limits; stupidity not.
  Rule: Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.

Natalie's Law of Algebra: You never catch on until after the test.

NBC's Addendum to Murphy's Law: you never run out of things that can go wrong.

Nelson's Law: The better the four-wheel drive, the farther out you get stuck.
  Rule: Christmas is a time when you get homesick, even when you’re home.

Nesmith’s First Law: The universe contains no contrary laws.

Newchy’s Law: The probability of being observed is in direct proportion to the stupidity of your actions.

Newlan’s Rule: An acceptable level of unemployment means that the government economist to whom it is acceptable still has a job.

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

Nichols's Fourth Law: Avoid any action with an unacceptable outcome.

Nicklaus’s Rule: The older you get the stronger the winds gets, and it’s always in your face.

Nies's Law: The effort expended by a bureaucracy in defending any error is in direct proportion to the size of the error.

Nigerian Proverb: When the mouse laughs at the cat there’s a hole nearby.

Ninety-Ninety Rule of Project Schedules: The first ninety percent of the task takes ten percent of the time,
    and the last ten percent takes the other ninety percent.

Nixon's Rule: If two wrongs don't make a right, try three.

Nobel Effect: There is no proposition, no matter  how foolish, for which a dozen Nobel signatures cannot be collected.
     Corollary: Any such petition is guarantied page-one treatment in the New York Times.

Noble's Law of Politics: All other things being equal, a bald man cannot be elected president of the United States.
Given a choice between two bald political candidates, the American people will vote for the less bald of the two.

Noël Coward's Comment: The higher the buildings, the lower the morals.

Noel's Law of Contracting: When you make a fixed bid, the project will take twice as long as estimated.
When you charge by the hour, the project will take half as long as estimated.

Nowlan's Law: Following the path of least resistance is what makes politicians and rivers crooked.

Non-Reciprocal Laws of Expectations: 1. Negative expectations yield negative results. 
Positive expectations yield negative results.

Norman's Definition: An "after Christmas sale" is an opportunity to buy all the junk you wouldn't be caught dead
     buying for Christmas.
No man knows what true happiness is until he gets married. By then, of course, it's too late.

Norris' Law: The day of the big heat wave is the day the office air conditioning breaks down.

O. J.'s Law: It doesn't matter if you win or lose ... until you lose.

O'Brian's Law: Nothing is ever done for the right reasons. 
  Law of the Think Tank:
The worse the idea, the higher the position of the person proposing it. 
  Principle (The $357.73 Theory):
Auditors always reject any expense account with a bottom line divisible by 5 or 10.
  Variation: If you change lines, the one you just left will start to move faster than the one you are now in.

O'Reilly' Law of the Kitchen: Cleanliness is next to impossible.
  Observation: It's not love that lasts forever, it's plastic.

O'Rourke's Rules: 1. Never fight an unanimated object.
    2. Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

O'Toole's Axiom: On child is not enough but two children are far too many.
    Commentary on Murphy’s Law: Murphy was an optimist.

Oaks's Principles of Law-making: 1. Law expands in proportion to the resources available for its enforcement.
   2. Bad Law is more likely to be supplemented than repealed.
Social legislation cannot repeal physical laws.

Observation on the Consumption of Paper: Each system has its own way of consuming vast amounts of paper:
    in socialist societies by filling large forms in quadruplicate, in capitalist societies by putting up huge posters
    and wrapping every article in four layers of cardboard.

Oeser's Law: There is a tendency for the person in the most powerful position in an organization
    to spend all of his or her time serving on committees and signing letters.

Ogden Nash Law: Progress may have been all right once, but it went on too long.
   Millenium 2000 Corollary
To those who insist that progress is good, mention voice mail.

Oien's Observation: The quickest way to find something is to start looking for something else.

Old and Kahn's Law: The efficiency of a committee meeting is inversely proportional to the number of participants
     and the time spent an deliberations.

Oliver's Law of Location: No matter where you go, there you are!

Olivier's Law: Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Onassis's Axiom: If women didn't exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning.

Oppenheimer's Law: There is no such thing as instant experience.
  Precept: Ignorance of the law does not prevent a losing lawyer from collecting his bill.

Orwell's Observation: On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
At age fifty, every man has the face he deserves.

Osburn's Axiom: Computers are not intelligent. They only think they are.
  Law: Variables won't; constants aren't.

Osgood’s Axiom: Nobody thinks they make too much money.

Otto's Law: You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.

Owen's Law: If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. I you are really good, you will get out of it.
  Law for Secretaries:
As soon as you sit down with a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something
     that will last until the coffee is cold. 
No plastic garbage bag will open from the end you first try. 
  Theory of Organizational Deviance:
Every organization has an allotted number of positions to be filled by misfits.
: Once a misfit leaves, another will be recruited.

P. K. Dick's Rule: Reality is what refuses to go away when you stop believing in it.

Palver's Pronouncement: The closer to the truth, the better the lie.

Pamela's Rule of Parenting: If you don't want your children to hear what you are saying, pretend that you are talking to them.

Panger's Advertising Principle: Nobody buys a half-truth, but some will swallow a whole lie.

Pantuso's First Law: The book you spent $19.95 for today will come out in paperback tomorrow.

Pardo's Postulates: 1. Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral or fattening.
     Steinkopff's Extension:
(The good things in life also) ... cause cancer in laboratory mice and are taxed beyond reality. 
. The three faithful things in life are money, a dog and an old woman. 
Don't care if you're rich or not, as long as you can live comfortably and have everything you want.

Pareto's Law (The 20/80 Law): Twenty percent of the customers account for eighty percent of the turnover.
    Twenty percent of the components account for eighty percent of the costs.

Parker's Law: Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone. 
  Law of Political Statements:
The truth of any proposition has nothing to do with its credibility and vice versa. 
   Principle: Never order anything in a vegetarian restaurant that ordinarily would have meat in it.
  Rule of Design Modification:
One change necessitates two others. 
  Rule of Parliamentary Procedure:
A motion to adjourn is always in order.

Parking Principle: There is ample parking everywhere except where you want to park.

Parkinson's Axioms: 1. An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals. 
. Officials make work for each other.  
  Laws: 1.
Work expands to fill the time available for its completion; the thing to be done swells in perceived importance
             and complexity in a direct ratio with the time to be spent in its completion.
        Fiske's Teenage Corollary:
The stomach expands to accommodate the amount of junk food available.  
Expenditures rise to meet income. 
Expansion means complexity and complexity decays. 
The number of people in any working group tends to increase regardless of the amount of work to be done. 
If there is a way to delay an important decision, the good bureaucracy, public or private, will find it. 
The progress of science varies inversely with the number of journals published. 
  Law for Medical Research:
Successful research attracts the bigger grant which makes further research impossible. 
  Law of Delay:
Delay is the deadliest form of denial.

Parks' Law of Insurance Rates and Taxes: Whatever goes up, stays up.

Parson's Law: In a town where one lawyer can't survive two lawyers will thrive. 
  of Passports: No one is as ugly as their passport photo.

Pascal on Man: The more I see of men, the better I like my dog.

Pasteur’s Principle: Chance favors the prepared.

Patriarca’s Law of Golf: When it’s your turn on the tee, the wind shifts against you.

Patry's Law: If you know something can go wrong, and take due precautions to prevent it, something else will go wrong.

Patterson's Observation: The only people who find what they're looking for are those who are looking for errors.

Pattison's Law of Electronics: If wires can be connected in two different ways, the first way blows the fuse.

Patton's Law: A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. 
  Law of Pricing:
The increase in quality varies inversely proportional to the increase in price.

Paul's Law: You can't fall off the floor. Chapman's Commentary: It takes children three years to learn Paul's Law.
  Principle: By the time you’re old enough to know your way around, you’re not going anywhere.

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

Paulsen's Prophecy: If anything is used to its full potential, it will break.
  Rule: Enter a contest and be on the sponsor's sucker list for life.

Paulsen's Rule: Enter a contest and be on the sponsor's sucker list for life.

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

Pavlu's Rules for Economy in Research: 1. Deny the last established truth on the list. 
Add yours.
Pass the list.

Pearl’s TV Principle: If it’s a two-part program, you will miss the first part.

Pearlman's Pace of Progress: If an efficiency analysis contains twenty time-saving strategies,
    only one of it is faulty, more time will be spent arguing over the one than implementing the other nineteen.

Peer's Law: The solution to a problem changes the nature of the problem.

Perkins' Law: A pat on the back is only a few centimetres from a kick the butt.
  Postulates: 1.
One-line tech support is designed to provide everything short of actual help.
                    2. The bigger they are, the harder they hit.
                     3.  You can be sincere and still be stupid.

Perlis's Postulate: The computing field is always in need of new clichés.

Perlsweig's Laws: 1. People who can least afford to pay rent, pay rent. People who can most afford to pay rent, build up equity. 
Whatever goes around comes around.

Perot's Observation: The only thing most politicians stand for is re-election.

Perrussel's Law: There is no job so simple that it cannot be done wrong.

Persig's Postulate: The number of rational hypotheses that can explain any given phenomenon is infinite.

Peter's Hidden Postulate According to Godin: Every employee begins at his level of competence. 
  Law of Evolution:
Competence always contains the seed of incompetence. 
  Law of Substitution:
Look after the molehills and the mountains will look after themselves. 
Super-competence is more objectionable than incompetence. 
An ounce of image is worth a pound performance. 
Spend sufficient time in confirming the need and the need will disappear. 
  Rule for Creative Incompetence:
Create the impression that you have already reached your level of incompetence.
  Theorem: Incompetence plus incompetence equals incompetence.

Peterson's Law of Accounting: Statistically, if there is a fifty-fifty chance that something will go wrong,
                         it actually will go wrong nine times out often.
  1. Principle:
Never delay the ending of a meeting or the beginning of a dinner hour. 
  2. Principle:
Traditions are solutions for which we have forgotten the problems.

Petzen's Internet Law: The most promising result from a search engine query will lead to a dead link.

Pfeifer's Principle: Never make a decision you can get someone else to make.
No one keeps a record of decisions you could have made but didn't. Everyone keeps a record of your bad ones.

Phillips' Law: Four-wheel-drive just means getting stuck in more inaccessible places.
  Law of Committee Procedure:
The only changes that are easily adopted are changes for the worse.
The best defense against logic is ignorance.

Philo's Law: To learn from your mistakes, you first must realize that you are making mistakes.

Phinney's Law: The announcement for the one event you most wanted to attend will arrive in the mail the day after the event.

Phipp's Parable of Procrastination: The number of things one can do to avoid working on whatever one should be working on
     is in direct proportion to the importance of the work being avoided.

Photographer's Laws: 1. The best shots happen immediately after the last frame is exposed. 
The other best shots are generally attempted through the lens cap.  
   3. Any surviving best shots are ruined when someone inadvertedly opens the darkroom door and all of the dark leaks out.

Picasso's Postulate: Computers are useless. All they give you is answers.

Pickering's Law of Data Loss: The probability of a hard drive crashing increases in direct proportion to the amount of time since the drive was last backed up.

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

Pilate's Tautology: If not for others, then who do you blame?

Pingatore's Postal Principle: People usually get what's coming to them unless it's been mailed.

Pinto's Law: Do someone a favor and it becomes your job.

Pirsig's Postulate: Data without generalization is just gossip.

Planer's Rule: An exception granted becomes a right expected the next time it is requested.

Plomp's Law: You know that children are growing up when they start asking questions that have answers.

Plutarch's Rule: It is impossible for anyone to learn that which he thinks he already knows.

Podnos's Law: One is tolerant only of that which does not concern him.

Political Pollster's Rules: 1. When the polls are in your favor, flaunt them.
When the polls are overwhelmingly unfavorable, (a) ridicule and dismiss them, or (b) stress the volatility of
When the polls are slightly unfavourable, play for sympathy as a struggling underdog. 
When it's too close to call, be surprised at your own strength.

Pollard’s Postulate: Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work.

Poole's Policy: He who laughs, lasts.

Pope's Law: Chipped dishes never break.

Porkingsham's Laws of Sportfishing: 1. The time available to go fishing shrinks as the fishing season draws nearer. 
The least experienced fisherman always catches the biggest fish. Corollary: The more elaborate and costly the equipment,
          the greater the chance of having to stop at the fish market on the way home. 
The worse your line is tangled, the better the fishing is around you.

Porter's Principle: If a job does not go wrong, then 1. It will have to be undone; 2. It will have to be redone; or, 
    3. It was the wrong job in the first place.

Post’s Managerial Observation: The inefficiency and stupidity of the staff corresponds to the inefficiency
    and stupidity of the management.

Postal Principle: People usually get what's coming to them... unless it's been mailed.

Potter's Laws: 1. The amount of flak received on any subject is inversely proportional to the subject's true value. 
A rumor doesn't gain credence until it's officially denied. 
The ability to say it simply requires a complex mind. 

Poulos's Political Corollary: A good slogan beats a good solution.

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

Powell's First Household Hypothesis: If the household lights go out during a thunderstorm,
    your flashlight batteries will be dead. 
The primary function of a bureaucracy is to create additional bureaucracies.

Prescher'a Law of Exams: If you don't know the answer, someone will ask the question.

Price's Laws: 1. If everybody doesn't want it, nobody gets it. 
Mass man must be served by mass means. 
Everything is contagious.

Pridham's Law of Golf: The only way to avoid hitting a tree is to aim at it.

Primary Principle of Socio-Economics: In a hierarchical system, the rate of pay varies inversely with the unpleasantness
     and difficulty of the task.

Primary Political Corollary: A good slogan beats a good solution.

Primary Rule for Government Systems: Seek the most difficult way and implement it.

Primary Rule of Business Telephoning: The first person you speak to will not be the person you called.

Primary Rule of History: History doesn't repeat itself - historians merely repeat each other.

Primary Rule of Returns and Rebates: Any proof-of-purchase sticker, label, or receipt will be unfindable
     when required to prove a purchase, receive a rebate, or establish a warranty.

Prince Philip's Rule: When a man opens the car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife.

Prince's Principle: People who work sitting down are paid more than people who work standing up.

Principle Concerning Multifunctional Devices: The fewer functions any device is required to perform,
    the more perfectly it can perform those functions.

Principle of Design Inertia: Any change looks terrible at first.

Principle of Operating Systems: Computers are an intelligent sink; there is no level of genius that cannot find its match
     in system design. The Microsoft Corollary: It takes hundreds of geniuses to make a complex thing simple.

Principles for Patients: 1. Just because your doctor has a name for your condition doesn't mean he knows what it is. 
The more boring and out-of-date the magazines in the waiting room,
          the longer you will have to wait for your scheduled appointment. 
Only adults have difficulty with childproof bottles. 
You never have the right number of pills left on the last day of a prescription. 
(also called The Pill Principle) The pills to be taken with meals will be the least appetizing ones.
Even water tastes bad when taken on doctor's orders. 
If your condition seems to be getting better, it's probably your doctor getting sick.

Principles of Gardening: 1. The standard size of a garden hose is "too short". 
Grass grows most abundantly wherever it is not wanted. 
Lawns and flowers are annuals or perennials, but weeds know no season.

Principles of Murphism: 1.There are always more ways for things to go wrong than there are for things to go right. 
One mistake renders the whole of the data worthless. 
Any fact misstated will bring all other statements of fact into question. 
It not only goes wrong, it goes wrong at the worst time.

Professor Block's Motto: Forgive and remember.

Professor Edrich's Daydream Factor: The total volume of concentration present in any given classroom is a constant
    regardless of the size of the class.

Proof Techniques: 1. Proof by referral to nonexistent authorities. 
Reduction ad nauseam. 
Proof by assignment. 
Method of least astonishment. 
Proof by handwaving. 
Proof by intimidation. 
Method of deferral until later in the course.
Proof by reduction to a sequence of unrelated subjects. 
Method of convergent irrelevancies.

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

Puddinhead's Lemma: Faith is believin' what you know ain't so.

Pugh's Law: If the human brain were simple enough for us to understand it, we would be to simple to understand it.

Pulliam's Postulate: Never step in anything soft.

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

Python's Principle of TV Morality: There is nothing wrong with sex on television, just as long as you don't fall off it.


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This page was last updated on 03 August, 2018