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BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy

MGM·Lion 15 Jan 10 - 01:16 PM
gnu 15 Jan 10 - 01:32 PM
jeffp 15 Jan 10 - 01:34 PM
Leadfingers 15 Jan 10 - 01:37 PM
gnu 15 Jan 10 - 02:02 PM
Bill D 15 Jan 10 - 02:05 PM
jeffp 15 Jan 10 - 02:10 PM
Bill D 15 Jan 10 - 02:13 PM
Bill D 15 Jan 10 - 02:16 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Jan 10 - 02:19 PM
Bill D 15 Jan 10 - 02:28 PM
Lighter 15 Jan 10 - 02:44 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Jan 10 - 03:04 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Jan 10 - 03:30 PM
Paul Reade 15 Jan 10 - 03:49 PM
katlaughing 15 Jan 10 - 04:00 PM
Lighter 15 Jan 10 - 04:34 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Jan 10 - 04:36 PM
gnu 15 Jan 10 - 04:42 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Jan 10 - 04:47 PM
Bill D 15 Jan 10 - 04:51 PM
Tangledwood 15 Jan 10 - 05:30 PM
Uncle_DaveO 15 Jan 10 - 05:57 PM
dick greenhaus 15 Jan 10 - 06:03 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 15 Jan 10 - 06:29 PM
Bert 15 Jan 10 - 06:33 PM
JohnInKansas 15 Jan 10 - 07:13 PM
Mrrzy 15 Jan 10 - 07:35 PM
Bill D 15 Jan 10 - 07:40 PM
Donuel 15 Jan 10 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,999 15 Jan 10 - 09:01 PM
Bill D 15 Jan 10 - 10:33 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Jan 10 - 10:45 PM
Liz the Squeak 15 Jan 10 - 11:37 PM
Rowan 15 Jan 10 - 11:59 PM
MGM·Lion 16 Jan 10 - 12:24 AM
Amos 16 Jan 10 - 12:55 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 16 Jan 10 - 06:32 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Jan 10 - 09:05 AM
Lighter 16 Jan 10 - 01:43 PM
Donuel 16 Jan 10 - 02:09 PM
Donuel 16 Jan 10 - 02:53 PM
Bill D 16 Jan 10 - 04:15 PM
Uncle_DaveO 16 Jan 10 - 04:31 PM
Amos 16 Jan 10 - 05:15 PM
Bill D 16 Jan 10 - 05:42 PM
Liz the Squeak 16 Jan 10 - 06:06 PM
gnu 16 Jan 10 - 06:32 PM
Bert 16 Jan 10 - 06:35 PM
gnu 16 Jan 10 - 06:37 PM

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Subject: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 01:16 PM

A recent post on the thread about the malignant fairy [or pixie or gremlin according to other contributors] that steals one's posts and prevents their appearing, particularly when has failed to copy & paste, made the point that it never did so when one had included a really confused statement or blatant spelling error.

Ah, I thought — that's what we call Sod's Law: a sort of law of unintended consequences which means that the result of any action is always the worst-case-scenario {from Sod as abbreviation of Sodomite, originally, I think — a particularly perverse or ill-willing person: is this an American expression also?}. I almost put up a post to this effect; but then thought it was probably worth a thread of its own. I virtuously searched, both Sod's Law & its variant Murphy's Law [of which more in a moment], to see if there had been previous threads on them; & found, somewhat to my surprise, that there were none. So here goes.

A particular branch of Sod's Law is the one we call Murphy's Law, which states "If it can go wrong, it will!". And there are even various amendments to that one: such as the one I know as Barton's Amendment To Murphy's Law, which adds the proviso, "And even if it can't, it might!".

Does anyone know of any further refinements? Or has anyone any experiences to relate in which the operation of these indispensable pieces of folk wisdom are particularly well exemplified?


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 01:32 PM

... at the worst possible time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: jeffp
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 01:34 PM

"Murphy was an optimist!" (attribution forgotten)


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Leadfingers
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 01:37 PM

Mrs Murphy's corollory (sp) - If Murphy's law says ANY slice of buttered cbread is dropped , it will land butter side down - Mrs Murphy's corollory states that there is no way to predertimine the right side to butter to stop this happening .

And there is Murphy's law of Thermodynamics - things get worse under pressure !


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 02:02 PM

Oh.. okay.

Any tool dropped under eaquipment being worked on will end up at the centroid of the area of the equipment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 02:05 PM

How many examples do you want? I have 9 books on the basic idea of Murphy's Laws....and one on Parkinson's Law.

My real treasure is a Murphy's Law calendar that I hung in an office where I worked. There was a big rainstorm...the roof leaked, and the water ran down the wall and ruined the wallboard, which allowed the nail to fall, dropping the Murphy's Law calendar onto a soggy carpet ans sticking the pages together.

One nice example: Rutherfords Rule: "The more you don't know how to do, the less you have to do."

and scary ones: McCarthy's Adage: "The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy in the greatest threat to liberty." (Eugene McCarthy)


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: jeffp
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 02:10 PM

Cole's Law: Shredded Cabbage


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 02:13 PM

The story of Sod & Murphy


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 02:16 PM

apocryphal:"How Mr. Murphy died:

One dark evening (in the U.S.), Mr. Murphy's car ran out of gas. As he hitchhiked to a gas station, while facing traffic and wearing white, he was struck from behind by a British tourist who was driving on the wrong side of the road."


(I heard it years ago that it was IN England, and that Murphy was walking on the wrong side of the road, and was struck by Buick driven by an American.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 02:19 PM

... and what that (for which many thanks) proves Bill is that folk etymology has been having a field day as to the origin of Murphy's Law — a fine example of Sod's Law, as ever was, would you not agree!?

Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 02:28 PM

Oh, a most excellent example! Self-fulling prophecy,as it were.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 02:44 PM

My guess is that "Murphy's Law" was inspired by a line in the song, "Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder?" revived as a hit in WWII:

And when Mrs. Murphy, she came to,
She began to cry and pout,
She'd put them in the wash that day
And forgot to pull them out!


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 03:04 PM

In answer to your question in { }: No, "sod" is not used that way in the US. Nor would anyone* recognize any connection between "sod" and "sodomy." Here, "sod" means "turf" and that's all.

*except, of course, the 1% of us who have had some contact with Britain or Ireland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 03:30 PM

I thought, as I implied by asking the ?, Jim, that this was the case. I seemed to recall having explained the phrase many years ago to some friends in NY to whom I had used it. 'Sod' here has much the same sort of connotation as your 'fink', I believe— indeed,, I think that was what they said. Perhaps you might think of calling it "Fink"s Law"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Paul Reade
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 03:49 PM

MtheGM's first posting "And even if it can't, it might!" is far too optimistic. Anyone who worked in IT will confirm that the full list of Murphy's laws is:-

1 If it can go wrong, it will
2 If it can't possibly go wrong, it definitely will
3 It will go wrong at the most inconvenient time possible
4 Murphy was an optimist


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 04:00 PM

Then what is meant by the exclamation, "Sod all!" Or, is it "Sod, all!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 04:34 PM

Have not heard "fink" in many years. Except for a brief period long ago it generally means a strikebreaker or an informer (otherwise a "snitch").

I think U.S. "jerk," an inept or mildly malicious fellow, comes far closer to British "sod."


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 04:36 PM

Kat —

"Something·rude-all" is an odd English idiom for 'nothing': 'fuck-all, 'bugger-all', 'sod-all', 'bleed-all' — all mean 'nothing', idiomatically. Why, I have no idea.

An odd idiom to emerge from this is the use of a C19 murder ballad, about the 1867 gruesome murder and cutting up of her corpse by one Frederick Baker, of a girl called Fanny Adams. This produced two spin-offs: soldiers'/sailors' slang for canned meat served in the men's mess became known as Fanny Adams. And 'Sweet Fanny Adams', first line of the chorus of the murder ballad, became a euphemism for 'Sweet fuck-all' - so that you will still hear people [esp in Cockney dialect, is my impression] say that something like, 'That has got Sweet Fanny Adams to do with it' — sometimes abbrv'd to 'Sweet FA', or even 'SFA' - both of which last usages , so it seems to me, defeat the euphemistic object.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 04:42 PM

Nothing can go wrong... can go wrong... can go wrong...

From the movie "Westworld" (I think).


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 04:47 PM

"Fink" has disappeared from our vocabulary. I think it was popular in the 1960s. Before that, I think it was used by union organizers. A fink was an employee who spied on the union and reported to management. Then to "fink on" someone was to spread any information that would get them in trouble. Later "fink" became a popular but vague term of abuse.

I think people liked the word because it sounded funny. Any word with a K in it is funny. Koalas, kangaroos, and kinkajous are funny. Bats, deer, and wolves are not funny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 04:51 PM

Klan is funny?

'fink' is reduced in popularity, not gone. I hear it now & then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Tangledwood
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 05:30 PM

Any tool dropped under eaquipment being worked on will end up at the centroid of the area of the equipment.

That seems to be a variation of "a dropped tool will land where it can do the most damage", which I believe is a Murphy sub-rule known as the Law of Selective Gravitation.

"Fink" has disappeared from our vocabulary. I think it was popular in the 1960s.

I mostly recall it from Wizard of Id cartoons - "the king is a fink".


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 05:57 PM

The humor of words with the "K" sound is particularly seen in attitudes toward cities/towns/villages.

As, in the US:
Cucamonga
Kokomo
Keokuk

and Abbot and Costello's fictional "Pocomoco!"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 06:03 PM

And for those who are familiar with Occam's Razor, there is Hanlon's Razor: It is folly to attribute to any other cause that which can be explained by stupidity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 06:29 PM

I recall "fink" and "rat fink" being used regularly in Mad Magazine articles during the '60s. At about the same time, well-known car customizer named Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, created a weird hot-rodding cartoon character called "Rat Fink". Since both Mad and the custom car magazines in which "Big Daddy" Roth's creations appeared were geared toward the male teenager market, use of "fink" or "rat fink" was faddishly popular for a few years among that group. Other than that brief bump in popularity, I don't think "fink" has ever been all that commonly used.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Bert
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 06:33 PM

The way things have been going recently here, I suspect that Murphy and God may be one and the same person.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 07:13 PM

My recollection is that the first edition of The Hackers' Dictionary gave an authoritative history of the origins of "Murphy's Law," and that there was a specific "Murphy" to whom credit can be given.

The book is, unfortunately, unfindable at the moment pending completion of unpacking after our recent move - but I'll try to check it when we finish sorting our remaining book boxes. (The last trailer load, containing books only, was about 5,200 lb, so it may take a while, as we have only 5 bookcases in our new home and packed books from 38 cases.)

In it's original form, Murphy's Law and several early corollaries ranked right up there with "It's in Knuth" among early computer wonks. Along with much of the rest, it quite possibly came from early PARC or "Model Railroad Club" organizations.

Much of the original computer wisdom was adopted/adapted during the WWII era by people in the aircraft business, and to a lesser(?) extent among the military in general; and it can be quite difficult to separate the origins from the corruptions and extensions.

Inheritance and augmentation across international boundaries has resulted in much confusion, as with the terms "Kluge" (US) and "Kludge" (UK) which have distinctly different connotations that are frequently confused and used incorrectly. The terms are NOT INTERCHANGEABLE, and definitely do not represent "variations of the same thing."

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 07:35 PM

Why has nobody mentioned Finagle?


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 07:40 PM

JiK, a supposed 'authoritative' story was given in the "Sod & Murphy" link I posted above. That's only about the 3rd authoritative story I have read.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 08:24 PM

Sod Amy's Law
Mel&Norma
Sam&Ella


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: GUEST,999
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 09:01 PM

For those who like these types of things--LOTS here.


Murphy's Law was a tip of the hat to chaos theory, imo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 10:33 PM

Murphy's Laws are a testament to humans tendency to remember bad results! It's like "songs of unrequited love".... when love is 'requited', there's much less need to write songs about it.

Not every dropped item falls into an inaccessible corner, but it sure is irritating when they do, and a 'law' soon follows.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 10:45 PM

And let us not forget the related indispensable acronym ——

SNAFU


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 11:37 PM

I've always preferred 'FUBAR' but I think that could be because I had a thing for Kurt Russell when I was younger...

Then there's Paul's Law - the law that states that it is possible to lie on the floor without holding on - this is the first law that babies learn and the first one that drunks forget.

I'm pretty sure Murphy was the reason Health and Safety was invented...

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Rowan
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 11:59 PM

And, to extend MtheGM's "Something·rude-all" is an odd English idiom for 'nothing': 'fuck-all, 'bugger-all', 'sod-all', 'bleed-all' — all mean 'nothing', idiomatically. Why, I have no idea, most of those expressions can have "-off" replacing the "-all"; all of them (except his last) mean "go away!!!!"

And, to extend his Sweet Fanny adams comment, when describing an infinitesimally small amount. the phrase I've heard for most of my life (and used by me only a couple of days ago) is "three fifths of five eighths of Sweet Fanny Adams". I'm indebted to MtheGM for giving added meaning to the phrase.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 12:24 AM

Re 'jerk', BTW — presumably an abbrev'd form of 'jerk-off' — i.e. what we would call 'a wanker'?


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 12:55 AM

We are all of us wankers on one plane or another.

Murphy and his colleagues were sorry observers of the eccentricities of shared existence of many struggling viewpoints battling the deadly solidification of an entropic universe. But they missed a crucial point.

To those whose faith in the highest sense, and whose keen ethical instincts and clear commitment to reason is unalloyed and proofed up against the lethal miasma of enforced and suppressed and invalidated perceptions, the world does not follow Murphy's law. Quite the contrary--to such souls, whatever can go right, will go right.

This is, without a doubt, a Better Bandwagon, a preferable set of agreements. Use the clearest sense you have and the keenest intent you can muster, and Murphy will be a mockery, a mere shadow in the play of those who steer the world into better directions.

Welcome to the Club.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 06:32 AM

""Then what is meant by the exclamation, "Sod all!" Or, is it "Sod, all!"""

This one, I believe, is related to the other meaning of sod i.e. a lump of soil.

Hence "Sod All" means as useless, or valueless, as a lump of dirt.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 09:05 AM

No, Don T. — ingenious, but in light of my above post 15 Jan 0436PM, that suggestion will not do, in the light of so many phrases "something-all" [e.g. fuck-all,bugger-all, shit-all, &c &c] as alternatives to "sod-all", & all meaning "nothing". The phrase "sod-all" is just another member of this group, & "sod" here means "sodomite", i.e. indulger in anal intercourse, whence the use of "sod" as a pejorative analogous to "bugger" _ it has nothing to do with pieces of earth, (bleeding or otherwise!).


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 01:43 PM

Re: "jerk" - probably from the ruder synonym "jerkoff," though not absolutely certain. Not everyone connects the two, and "jerk" has been considered harmless for longer than I can remember. Not so "jerkoff."


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 02:09 PM

That jerk theory sounds about right, you can say ass but not ass hole or mother but not mother f


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 02:53 PM

The more security systems you impose to prevent unauthorized users access to service, the more authorized users will lose service.

The more automated phone menu robots are used to improve customer sevice, the more customers will get pissed off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 04:15 PM

"If you wish to complain about this message system, press X 357 times"


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 04:31 PM

Donuel, I can't objectively verify the first of your corollaries, but the second is absolutely dead on!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 05:15 PM

"Sod all" as an expression is directly derivative of "fuck all", since sodomization is an intensification of the socially offensive term "fuck". It is a parallel construction to "bugger all".

That's my story and I am sticking to it, and if you don't like it you can sod or fuck or bugger off!! :>D



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 05:42 PM

....*tried all 3 at once...hurt my back*....


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 06:06 PM

Thanks Bill, you owe me a new keyboard and another beer!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: gnu
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 06:32 PM

But, what is 2/5ths of 5/8ths of fuck all? Sodless all?

What is the metric equivalent? Nanosodall or sommat?


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: Bert
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 06:35 PM

There was an old man of Bengal
who had a mathematical ball
the cube of its weight
divided by eight
was half the square root of fuck all.

What is the metric equivalent? Napoleon's balls maybe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Laws of Sod & Murphy
From: gnu
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 06:37 PM

BTW... my old man used to say that... dunno if it is a common saying.


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