WE'RE indebted to the Reader's Digest for reprinting some...

Salmagundi

May 18, 1994

WE'RE indebted to the Reader's Digest for reprinting some gems from "The Official Rules," compiled by Paul Dickson, who is identified as a writer who became interested in the phenomenon of universal laws when he discovered that the size of the cut he inflicted upon himself while shaving was directly proportional to the importance of the event he was shaving for.

Some examples:

Anderson's Law: "I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it the right way, did not become still more complicated."

-- Paul Anderson

Bok's Law: "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."

-- Derek Bok

Luce's Law: "No good deed goes unpunished."

-- Claire Boothe Luce

Marshall's Generalized Iceberg Theorem: Seven-eighth's of everything can't be seen.

Moynihan's Law: If the newspapers of a country are filled with good news, the jails of that country will be filled with good people."

-- Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

United Law: If an organization carries the word "united" in its name, it means it isn't: e.g., United Nations, United Arab Republic, United Kingdom, United States.

-- Prof. Harry Rudin

Wolf's Law: Those who don't study the past will repeat its errors. Those who do study it will find other ways to err.

-- Charles Wolf Jr.

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