Murphy’s Law

If there were only one law in the universe, it would be Murphy’s law, and the whole law can be recited in seven words: “If anything can go wrong, it will.” 

Why was the name Murphy unlucky enough to be forever immortalized in such a depressing mantra?

Apparently, the phrase originated in the mid-1900s in the U.S. Air Force.  As the local lore goes, a Captain Ed Murphy (I’m assuming no relation to the famous comedian) was conducting some testing at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949.  Murphy was an engineer and was getting extremely frustrated with a malfunctioning part.  Murphy said to the technician responsible, “If there is any way to do things wrong, he will!”  (Ok, so Air Force engineers aren’t always up on the rules of grammar…)

His statement became known as Murphy’s Law.  By 1960, the phrase entered the civilian vocabulary and was attached to just about any mistake or mishap.

These days, this phrase seems more than mere cliche’; even the smallest particle of matter in the universe cannot escape it.  If what goes up must come down, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion, then an object in existence is subject to Murphy’s Law.


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