End of ADS-L Digest - 11 Jan 1997 to 12 Jan 1997 ************************************************ There are 24 messages totalling 1443 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Murphy's Law 2. Murphy's Law -- 1949 (3) 3. IPA to Internet? 4. Hebonics (4) 5. Ruronics (10) 6. IPA to Internet? -Reply 7. More Hebonics 8. Hebonics (Is Joke) (fwd) 9. -onics 10. Ebonics and parody ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 23:33:59 -0600 From: Dan Goodman Subject: Murphy's Law John W. Campbell Jr., editor of Astounding Science Fiction (which became Analog Science Fact/Fiction) discussed Murphy's Law and related laws. (As did many contributors to the letter column). I'm not sure, but I think at least some of this discussion was before 1957. > Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 04:16:40 -0500 > From: "Barry A. Popik" > Subject: Murphy's Law > > Eddie Murphy has a new movie coming out this week called METRO. It's > advertised on the huge 59th Street Bridge (Roosevelt Island tram) billboard > by my home. The billboard has a dubious reputation--almost every flick > advertised on it has been a bomb. Which brings me to-- > Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong will." > I'll antedate the term and beat OED by a year. > Murphy himself was supposed to drop by to say hello to y'all. He's > late--let's see if he comes by before I finish. > Cecil Adams's Straight Dope Message Boards have discussed this item > since 12-30-96. On that date, KCB615 provided some corollaries: > > 1. Nothing is as easy as it looks. > 2. Everything takes longer than you think. > 3. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will > cause the most damage will be the one that goes wrong. > 4. If you have 4 ways that something will go wrong, and you find solutions to > all 4, a 5th problem will promptly develop. > 5. Left to themselves, things will go from bad to worse. > 6. Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first. > 7. Every solution breeds new problems. > 8. It is impossible for something to be foolproof because fools are so > ingenious. > 9. Mother Nature is a bitch. > > KCB615 later wrote: > > I forgot one... > Cole's Law: > Thinly sliced cabbage. > > Another poster added "Anything that can go wrong will...and in the > WORST possible way." > Some people have said that "Murphy was an optimist." > Another post reminded not to forget "Murphy's Mother-in-Law," which is > "See, I told you so!!" > Who is Murphy? Where did he come from? > Murphy is a fairly new Americanism--the second half of the 20th > century. Nothing before 1950 (that I know of, at least) has him. I've done > WWII; Kilroy is there, but not Murphy. > WHAT'S IN A NAME? Reflections of an Irrepressible Name Collector by > Paul Dickson doesn't list Murphy's Law under eponyms (pp. 100-107), nor > anywhere else. WHAT'S IN A NAME? Everything You Wanted to Know by Leonard R. > N. Ashley didn't have EVERYTHING I wanted to know. Murphy is not in the > names into words on pp. 194-197. > Eureka tracked twelve titles, dating from 1979--1994. In 1977, a > popular poster contained Murphy's Laws, and this later "morphed" into a book > by Arthur Bloch. In 1993-94, computer books such as MURPHY'S LAWS OF DOS, > MURPHY'S LAWS OF EXCEL, and MURPHY'S LAWS OF WORDPERFECT were printed. > OED comes very close, and nearly hits it right on the head: > > 3. MURPHY'S LAW: a name humorously given to various aphoristic expressions of > the apparent perverseness and unreasonableness of things (see quots.). orig. > U.S. > 1958 _Nation_ (N.Y.) 7 June 506/1 There is an old military maxim known as > Murphy's Law which assets that where-ever there is a bolt to be turned, > someday there will be someone to turn it the wrong way. > 1961 LEEDS & WEINBERG _Computer Programming Fun_ viii. 241 What we desire is > the presentation of the information in such an accurate and complete form > that the reader will be able to use the subroutine correctly without > hesitation or question. Recalling "Murphy's law"--"If something can go wrong > or be misinterpreted, it will"--should be enough stimulus for the goals we > desire." > 1962 J. GLENN in _Into Orbit_ 85 We blamed human errors like this on what > aviation engineers call "Murphy's Law." "Murphy" was a fictitious character > who appeared in a series of educational cartoons put out by the U. S. Navy... > Murphy was a careless, all-thumbs mechanic who was prone to make such > mistakes as installing a propellor backwards. > > Aah!! > The 1958 and 1962 citations lead us to what I believe is the answer. A > WorldCat search turned up this: > > TITLE: Maintenance safety in aviation: > Murphy's Law. > PLACE: Washington, D.C. > PUBLISHER: United States Navy. > YEAR: 1957. > PUB TYPE: Audiovisual. > FORMAT: 8 min. : sd. col. 16 mm. > NOTES: United States Navy training film. > Shows how improper installation of aircraft equipment can cause > accidents. > SUBJECT: Aeronautics--Safety measures. > OTHER: United States. Navy. > Transfilm, inc., New York. > Murphy's Law. (Motion pictures) > > Murphy's Law is from 1957--now 40 years old. See also Eric > Partridge; he has entries on the later terms of "Sod's law" and "Spode's > law." > And so, with our OED antedate firmly in hand, we end our-- > MURPHY: Sorry I'm late. I got stuck in traffic. > POPIK: Murphy's Law #2: Everything takes longer than you think. Tell the > folks what you've been doing these past forty years. > MURPHY: I was your publicist. > POPIK: Not for forty years! > MURPHY: I was also your family's managed care physician. > POPIK: What else? > MURPHY: I was also publicity director for the New Jersey Nets. Can I sit > down? > POPIK: Sure. There's a Murphy bed. I understand you've done some tv > acting? > MURPHY: Father Murphy Mysteries. Murphy Brown. > POPIK: Which also brought you into politics. > MURPHY: I'm helping Newt Gingrich RIGHT NOW! > POPIK: Forty years and you're still not married! You've blown your chances! > MURPHY: Things always go wrong. It's not as easy as it looks. Things take > longer than you think. Things have gone from bad to worse. > POPIK: Do you have any friends? > MURPHY: Kramer. From Seinfeld. > POPIK: I know you don't eat meat, so I made some Murphy potatoes. > MURPHY: Potatoes! That was the Murphy Brown I did! I--AAAAH! > POPIK: Murphy? Murphy? It's a Murphy bed! It goes back into the wall! > Murphy? I have a date later tonight! I can't have problems in bed! This > never occurred to me before--I've gotta buy a Castro, or a Jennifer! > Anything but a --! MURPHY? MURPHY, GET OUT OF THERE!!!!!!! > > ------------------------------ > > End of ADS-L Digest - 11 Jan 1997 to 12 Jan 1997 > ************************************************ > Dan Goodman dsgood[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]visi.com http://www.visi.com/~dsgood/index.html Whatever you wish for me, may you have twice as much.