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T. S. Elliot's Observation: Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.
T. Smith's Definition: "Unbreakable" means that it breaks
in a way you never expected.
Table of Handy Office Excuses: 1. That's the way we've always done
Tallulah Bankhead's Observation: If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.
Tappan's Restating of Something Famous: To say nothing, to do nothing, is to be about average.
Tatman's Rule: Always assume that your assumption is invalid.
Law of Tailoring: No matter how many alterations,
cheap pants never fit.
Telesco's Laws of Nursing: 1. All the IVs are at the other end of the
Temple's Law of the Kitchen: Anything cooked in an oven will be either
overcooked or undercooked.
Tenenbaum's Law of Replication: The most interesting results happen only once.
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,
Thal's Law: For every vision, there is an equal and opposite revision.
The 10-60 Rule of Health Care: A 60-minute doctor's appointment will result in seeing the doctor for 10 minutes.
The 3 Certainties of Life: 1. Death 2. Taxes 3. Another Diet Book
The 401 Error Principle: Your favorite bookmarks no longer exist on the server.
The 90/90 Rule of Project Schedules: The first 90 percent of the task
takes 10 percent of the time
The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a
fifty-fifty chance of getting something right,
The Airplane Law: When the plane you are on is late, the plane you want to transfer to is on time.
The Answering Machine Law: The one time you answer the phone instead of
letting a machine answer it,
The Aquinas Axiom: What the gods get away with, the cows don't.
The Art Director's Nightmare: The color you have used most is the color the client likes least.
The Army Axiom: Any order that can be misunderstood has been misunderstood.
The Attorney Axiom: Any simple point must be explained in the most complicated way.
The Avis-Hertz Law of Airports: In an airport served by seven car rental
The Awful Truth: Estate planning is not intended to protect your heirs if you
The Banking Principle: When you get to the front of the line, the teller will close.
The Basic Law of Construction: Cut it large and kick it into place.
The Bering Distinction: Philosophy is questions that may never be answered, Religion is answers that may never be questioned.
The Basic Rule of Barbecuing: The grill is perfect ten minutes after everyone has eaten.
The Betamax Principle: If there are two competing and incompatible technologies on
The Book Lover's Rule: Never judge a book by its cover price.
The Budgetary Reminder: A budget is just a method of worrying before you spend money, as well as afterward.
The Bumper-to-Bumper Belief: Traffic congestion increases in direct
proportion to the length of time
The Bureaucracy Principle: Only bureaucracy can fight bureaucracy.
The Callaway's Lament: Nothing in the known universe travels faster than a bad check.
The Capitalist Conundrum: You can't have it all, but you can pay for it all.
The Cardinal Conundrum: An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist fears this is true.
The Chatelier's Principle: Complex systems tend to oppose their own proper function.
The Chi Factor: Quantity = 1/Quality; or, quantity is inversely proportional to quality.
The Chief Executive in Charge of Titles Law: The longer the title, the less important the job.
The Christmas Tree-Buying Axiom: Every tree you reject looks perfect when selected by someone else.
The Corporate Dynamic: In any corporate hierarchy, blame for a screw-up
will tend to flow downward
The Corporate Rule of Expertise: The higher the level of expertise, the greater the level of equivocation.
The Corridor Corollary: You can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard.
The Coupon Constant: The coupons you clip and save expire before you need to use them.
The Cynic's Censure: In America, every major cause becomes a major industry.
The Danger Dictum: The more a warning is repeated, the less likely it will be heeded.
The Decorative Artwork Principle: The cost for the framing always exceeds the cost of the art.
The Denali Principle: When a mammalogist and an
ornithologist go exploring,
The "Don't-Back-Out" Rule: Any city works project, no matter
how ill-conceived it subsequently proves to be,
The Download Factor: If a file takes an hour to download, someone in your house will pick up the phone in the 59th minute.
The Eclipse Principle: The longer you travel to view an eclipse, the greater the chance of cloud cover.
The Einstein Extension of Parkinson's
Law: A work project expands to fill the space
The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not committee.
The End-Task Rule: Everything can be filed under miscellaneous.
The EPSN Rule: Your favorite team gets less coverage than everyone else's.
The Executive Principle: You can't steal second base and keep one foot on first.
The Extended Murphy's Law: If a series of events can go wrong, it will do so in the worst possible sequence.
The Extended Rule of Money Dynamics: A check due to you takes two weeks to arrive. Bills arrive the day they are sent.
The Extra-Part Principle: You never know what the extra part is for until you've thrown it away.
The Fame Principle: The final test of fame is to have a crazy person imagine he is you.
The Fauvre Principle: Money earned in your own business will be lost in someone else's business
The Feminist Dictum:
A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.
The Fertility Factor: Women are only fertile a few days each month - unless they're single.
The Fifth (and Only) Rule: You have taken yourself too seriously.
The Fifth Rule of Politics: When a politician gets an idea, he usually gets it wrong.
The First Law of the business Letter:
Never ask two questions in a business letter.
The First Pitfall of Genius: No boss will keep an employee who is right all the time.
The First Rule of Excavation: If you are in a hole, stop digging.
The Functionary's Falsity: People in systems do not what the systems says they are doing.
The Fundamental Postulates of Advanced Systems Theory: 1. Everything
is a system.
The Fundamental Theorem: New systems generate new problems. Corollary: Systems should not be unnecessarily multiplied.
Alternative Formulations: 1. Complicated
systems produce unexpected outcomes.
The Gluskin-Fagan Rules: 1.
Takeovers are always announced one day after you sell the
stock of the target company.
The Golden Rule of Arts and Sciences: Whoever has the gold makes the rules.
The Grocery Bag Law: The candy bar you planned to eat on the way home
from the market
The Guest Rule: Never mistake endurance for hospitality.
The Guppy Law: When outrageous expenditures are divided finely enough,
The Halloween Candy Rule: You get the least of what you like the most.
The Help Homily: In matters of automobile repair, the only advice you get will be for things you have already checked.
The Hierarchy Rule: To get action from a bureaucracy, talk to the person at the top or bottom of the ladder.
The History Principle: History is a set of lies agreed upon by the victor.
The Hollywood Politico Law: No matter how foolish the cause,
The Inapplicable Law: Washing your car to make it rain doesn't work.
The Interest Principle: Almost everything is more popular than it used to be.
The Ire Principle: Never try to pacify anyone at the height of their rage.
The Iron Law of Secretaries:
As soon as you get a fresh cup of coffee,
The It's-Not-Broke-But-Fix-It-Anyway Exercise: It is less risky to modify
a well-operating system
The Ire Principle: Never try to pacify someone at the height of his rage.
The Jones/Einstein Principle: Originality is the art of concealing your source.
The Kennedy Constant: Don't get mad - get even.
The Kibbitzer's Rule: It is much easier to suggest solutions when you know nothing about the problem.
The Landry-Shula Law:
Anyone who makes a significant contribution to a field of
The Last Law: It's better to have a horrible ending than to have horrors without end.
The Law of Eponymy:
Any given Law will not be named for the person who created
The Law of Oversell: When putting cheese in a mousetrap, always leave room for the mouse.
The Law of the Letter: The best way to inspire fresh thoughts is to seal the letter.
The Lawyer's Maxim: Where there's a will, there's a lawsuit.
The Lawyer Joke Law: The problem with
lawyer jokes is that lawyers don’t think they’re funny,
The Leprechaun Lemma: When you reach the end of the rainbow, you will find that the pot of gold is at the other end.
The Leather/Weather Rule: The chance of a sudden cloudburst is in direct proportion to the amount of suede you are wearing.
The Line Principle: The longer you wait in line, the greater the likelihood that you are standing in the wrong line.
The Linear Accelerator Principle: The shorter the line, the slower it moves.
The Lippman Lemma: People specialize in their area of greatest weakness.
The Loophole Law: The higher the tax bracket, the more ways to avoid paying the taxes.
The Luncheon Law: The person who suggests splitting the bill evenly is always the person who ordered the most expensive meal.
The Machine Rules: 1.
Nothing will work that is put back together in the reverse of
the way it was dismantled.
The Mansonry Law: No matter how many bricks or blocks have been placed
correctly, any one placed incorrectly
The McGwire Principle: The biggest plays occur when you're out buying beer.
The Mosquito Principle: When two people are together outdoors,the insects will bother one while leaving the other alone.
The Motel Maxim: The person who will leave the earliest has parked his car in front of your window.
The Munroe Doctrine: A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.
The Murphy Dictum of Sports: Losing streaks tend to run longer than
The NBA Revelation: No one really cares what happens in the first 46 minutes of a basketball game.
The Office Building Elevator Principle: The first elevator that arrives will be headed in the wrong direction.
The Office Maxim: The phone never rings when you have nothing to do.
The Oil Spill Principle: People will accept any bad news if the magnitude of the disaster is revealed gradually.
The Old Porter's Observation: There's very few what comes up to the average.
The Operational Fallacy: The system itself does not do what is says it is doing.
The Ordering Principle: Those supplies necessary for yesterday's experiment must be ordered no later tomorrow noon.
The Pace of Progress: Society is a mule, not a car... If pressed too hard, it will kick and throw off its rider.
The Pack Rat Law of Paperwork: If you have kept it and not referred
to it in more than a year,
The Parent's Rule: The best revenge is to live long enough to be a problem to your children.
The Parouzzi Principle: Given a bad start, trouble will increase at an exponential rate.
The Party Law: The more food you prepare, the less your guests will eat.
The Pay Phone Rule: The change in your pocket isn't enough to cover the cost of the call.
The Pet Principle: No matter which side of the door the dog or cat is on, it's the wrong side.
The Peter-Out Principle: After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.
The Pineapple Principle: The best parts of anything are always impossible to remove from the worst parts.
The Pitfalls of Genius: No boss will keep an employee who is right all of the time.
The Poker Principle: Never do card tricks for the group you play with.
The Principle Concerning Multifunctional Devices: The fewer functions any device is required to perform, the more perfectly it can perform those functions.
The Printing Laws: 1. It will not work the first time. 2. It
probably will not work on the second attempt.
The Product Development Paradox: The reason for the rush is the revision, but the reason for the revision is the rush.
The Programmer's Dilemma: Programming is like sex. One mistake and you're providing support for a lifetime.
The Puritan Principle: If it feels good, don't do it.
The Quality Factor: Quantity is inversely proportional to quality.
The Queue Principle: The longer you wait in line, the greater the likelihood that you are standing in the wrong line.
The Rational Fallacy: Everything happens for a reason.
The Recommended Practices Committee of the International Society of
The Reliability Principle: The difference between the Laws of Nature and
Murphy' Law is that,
The Reja-Jansen Law: On the first pull of the cord, the drapes move the wrong way.
The Rent-a-Car Law: In any airport served by several car rental agencies, the other service shuttles will arrive before yours.
The Revolutionary Law: The dirtier the rebel uniform, the more likely the overthrow of the existing government.
The Rockefeller Principle: Never do anything you wouldn't be caught dead doing.
The Roman Rule: The one who says it cannot be done should never interrupt the one who is doing it.
The Roosevelt Rule: Repetition does not transform a lie into truth.
The Rule for Ultimate Success in Life: Never say everything you know.
The Rule of Demographics: The most extensive and costly demographic research yields results that were obvious from the start.
The Rule of Law: Never make a major policy change based on a close vote.
The Rule of Revision: One small change in the middle of a manuscript
results in an exponential increase
The Rule of the Law: If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the
law is against you, argue the facts.
The Rule of the Rally: The only way to make up for being lost is to make record time while you are lost.
The Rule of the Way out: Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.
The Rule of Winter: At least once each winter, someone will say that last year's winter never felt this cold.
The Ruler Rule: There is no such thing as a straight line.
The Sagan Fallacy: To say a human being is nothing but molecules and
atoms is like saying a Shakespeare play
The Salary Axiom: The pay raise is just enough to increase your taxes and
just small enough
The Sausage Principle: People who love sausage and respect the law should never watch either one being made.
The Schainker Converse: Inside every small problem is a larger problem struggling to get out.
The Siddhartha Principle: You cannot cross a river in two strides.
The Sleeping-Baby Rule for Dedicated Dads: A sleeping baby will remain so
until (a) the parents are sound asleep
The Smiths' Law: No real problem has a solution.
The Spare Button Principle: Shirts that come with extra buttons never lose buttons.
The Spare Parts Principle: The accessibility, during recovery of small
parts which fall from the work bench,
The Stadium Service Principle: The quality of food and service varies directly with the number of alternative sources available. Corollary: When there is only one concessionaire, the price will be exorbitant.
The Stages of Systems Development: 1.
The Student's Tautology: The teacher is never absent on the day of the exam.
The Student Tautology: The teacher is never absent on the day of the exam.
The Survivalist's Rule of Committeeship: When in doubt, suggest that a subcommittee be appointed.
The Third Law of Printing: Immediately after you walk away from the printer, the paper will jam.
The Three Least Credible Sentences in the English Language: 1.
"The check is in the mail."
The Three Ways to Get Something Done:
1. Do it yourself.
The Too Hot/Too Cold Axiom: No two adjoining departments in any given workplace will agree on the proper thermostat setting.
The Two Rules for Ultimate Success in Life: 1. Never tell everything you know.
The Ultimate Principle: By definition, when you are investigating the unknown you do not know what you will find.
The Unapplicable Law: Washing your car to make it rain doesn't work.
The Universal Law of Telephone Directories: The first category you turn
to in the yellow pages
The Unspeakable Law: As soon as you mention something ...if it's good, it goes away. ...if it's bad, it happens.
The Unwritten Rule of Marketing: Chose format over content.
The Upgrade Principle: The upgrade will break down as soon as the old
version is deleted.
The Vacationer's Axiom:
You always get sick on the second day of your vacation and
always recover the day
The Virus Factor: The one file you don't scan for viruses will be the one with the virus.
The Voice-Mail Principle: Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first put on hold.
The Watergate Principle: Government corruption is always reported in the past tense.
The Whispered Rule: People will believe anything if you whisper it.
Theory of Selective Supervision: The one time in the day that you lean
back and relax
Thiessen's Law of Art: The overwhelming prerequisite for the
greatness of an artist is that artist's death.
Thine's Law: Nature abhors people.
Things that Can Be Counted on in a Crisis: MARKETING says yes. FINANCE
says no. LEGAL has to review it.
Third Bureaucratic Principle: The longer the title, the less important the job.
Third Rule for Retailers: The customer is almost right.
Third Law of Applied Confusion: After adding two weeks to the schedule
for unexpected delays,
Third Law of Bureaucratic Efficiency: Elimination of one time-consuming
Third Law of Interviews and Appointments: The later you are running, the heavier the traffic.
Third Law of Job Hunting: The longer and more detailed the résumé, the less likely it will be read.
Third Law of Mechanical Repair: The availability of a part is inversely proportional to the need for the part.
Third Law of Office Murphologie:
Machines that have broken down will work perfectly
Third Law of Parking: The best parking places are on the other side of
Third Law of Productivity: When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.
Third Law of Research: The theory is supported as long as the funding remains.
Third Law of Solutions: The obvious answer is always overlooked.
Third Law of Troubleshooting: The device that tested perfectly the last
time it was tested will fail
Third Law of Workplace Climatology: Repair of the heating system signals the onset of warmer weather.
Third Rule for Retailers: The customer is almost right.
Third Rule of Democracy: Disorder expands proportionately to the tolerance for it.
Third Rule of the Mega-Committee: A lack of consensus means that a
fact-finding committee will be appointed
Third Truth of Management: If sophisticated calculations are needed to justify an action, don’t do it.
Third Workshop Principle: Leftover nuts never match leftover bolts.
Thomas Huxley's Rule of Progress: Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.
Thomas Jefferson's Rule: Delay is preferable to error.
Your childhood sweetheart is as old as you are.
Thompson's First Rule of Painting: It takes more time to prep it than
to paint it.
Men have become the tools of their tools.
Thoms’s Law of Marital Bliss: The length of a marriage is inversely proportional to the amount spent on the wedding.
Thornley's Law: What we imagine as order is merely the prevailing form of chaos.
Thorson's Law: The greater the emergency, the lower the charge in your cell-phone battery.
Throop's Axiom: The universe is not user-friendly.
Thumb's Postulates: 1. It is better to solve a problem with a crude
approximation and know the truth, ± 10%,
Thurber’s Law: There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else.
Tibbett's Law of Opportunity: The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you are in the bathroom.
Tillis' Organizational Principle: If you file it, you'll know where it is
but you'll never need it.
Timmy Wilcox's Law: The larger than you an older brother is, the more he's right about everything.
Todd's First Law: All things equal you lose. Corollary: All
things being in your favor, you still lose.
Tolstoy on History: History would be a wonderful thing – if it were only true.
Tom’s Law: When you finally meet the perfect woman, she will be waiting for the perfect man.
Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.
Toynbee's Rule: In matters of religion, it is very easy to deceive mankind and very difficult to undeceive them.
Townsend's Law: Marriage teaches you loyalty,
forbearance, self-restraint, meekness,
Tracey's Time Observation: Good times end too quickly.
Bad times go on forever.
Tracey's Time Observation: Good times end too quickly. Bad times go on forever.
Traditional Wisdom for Military Combat: Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.
Trahey's Law: Never dump a good idea on a conference table. It will belong to the conference.
Trevelyan’s Rule: “History repeats itself” and “History never repeats itself” are about equally true
Trishmann's Paradox: A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth.
Tristan's Law: Appealingness is inversely proportional to attainability.
Troutman's First Programming Postulates: 1. Not until a program has
been in production for at least six months
Truman's Law: If you cannot convince them, confuse them.
Truths of Management: 1. Think before you act; it's not your money.
Tuccille's First Law of Reality: Industry always moves in to fill an economic vacuum.
Tucker's Comment: It makes sense, when you don't think about it.
Tudisco's Asymmetry Principle:
Things go wrong all at once, but things go right
Tupper's Political Postulate: Those who sit astride the fence have few direction from which to choose.
Tussman's Law: Nothing is as inevitable as a mistake whose time has come.
Twain's Observations: 1.Good
breeding consists of concealing how much we think of ourselves
Tylczak's Probability Postulate: Random events tend to occur in groups.