You must have often come across this cynical and witty statement: “An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.” Well, it can be attributed to the Murphy’s Law which is a saying recorded as “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. The identity of the person called Murphy is not known and remains a mystery till date. However the saying came to be used by the armed forces during the Second World War.
The Murphy’s Law refers to various pessimistic sayings dating back to 1958 when it was cited to be “an old military maxim”. One of Murphy’s Law is “If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it.” It is believed that the originator of Murphy’s laws was Edward A. Murphy, Jr., an engineer with the U.S. Air Force. In 1947 Edward Murphy was part of a rocket-sled experiment which was a disaster as all the sixteen accelerator instruments were fitted incorrectly. This resulted in Murphy’s observation if people had an option to do something in which one of the options could result in a catastrophe, it was very likely that someone would chose the option leading to the catastrophe.
Murphy must have issued a casual statement when he said that “if something can go wrong, it will”. But it has become a law today in fact known as Murphy’s first law. Many failures and problems in life are characteristic of Murphy’s Law though nothing much is known about the originator of this law. Murphy’s Laws refer to the nature of people and even processes to commit error Variation of Murphy’s Laws is used in a variety of quotations that can be categorized as Murphy’s Laws. For example it is generally felt that it will rain after you water the lawn. Interestingly Murphy’s Law can be used to an advantage to induce some positive action as in the case of watering the lawn with the hope of it bringing rain.
Murphy’s first law expressed in the saying “Anything that can go wrong, will -- at the worst possible moment” is popularly known as the “Finagle’s Law of Dynamic Negatives” which was developed by Larry Niven , a notable science –fiction writer.
The term Finagle has been used as a verb in the USA which means “obtaining a result by deception or trickery”. In some scientific and technical fields, Murphy’s Law is known by the name “Sod’s Law” more commonly used in Great Britain.
1. If something can go wrong, it will.
2. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
3. Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.
4. Bread always falls with the buttered side down.
5. Once something goes bad, any attempts to set it right makes it worse.