Murphy's Law

(redirected from finagle)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Idioms, Wikipedia.

Murphy's Law

(humour)
(Or "Sod's Law") The correct, *original* Murphy's Law reads: "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." This is a principle of defensive design, cited here because it is usually given in mutant forms less descriptive of the challenges of design for lusers. For example, you don't make a two-pin plug symmetrical and then label it "THIS WAY UP"; if it matters which way it is plugged in, then you make the design asymmetrical (see also the anecdote under magic smoke).

Edward A. Murphy, Jr. was one of the engineers on the rocket-sled experiments that were done by the US Air Force in 1949 to test human acceleration tolerances (USAF project MX981). One experiment involved a set of 16 accelerometers mounted to different parts of the subject's body. There were two ways each sensor could be glued to its mount, and somebody methodically installed all 16 the wrong way around. Murphy then made the original form of his pronouncement, which the test subject (Major John Paul Stapp) quoted at a news conference a few days later.

Within months "Murphy's Law' had spread to various technical cultures connected to aerospace engineering. Before too many years had gone by variants had passed into the popular imagination, changing as they went. Most of these are variants on "Anything that can go wrong, will"; this is sometimes referred to as Finagle's Law. The memetic drift apparent in these mutants clearly demonstrates Murphy's Law acting on itself!
References in periodicals archive ?
class="MsoNormalThe front of the Finagle A Bagel Bakery and Cafe+ Test Kitchen in Newton, USA.
Like other Clark supporters--legislative aides who tried to finagle time off to work for the campaign, consultants and college students who traveled to the early primary states, and lawyers who admit to posting fewer billable hours since Clark announced--Housman's involvement had been poignant.
During the technology-industry bust of 2001 and 2002, chief financial officers--the accounting types who finagle new financing to keep a company operating but who are not supposed to finagle the books--were more important to technology companies than the tech types who dream up and write software.
American Entrepreneur Larry Smith, founder of Finagle a bagel chain, has set up a company London Taxis North America Inc and expects the first cars to be on the road in Boston.
* The results of the great Florida finagle of November 2000 are there in the White House for all to see; they also continue to play out in the courts and elsewhere, long after Bush v.
Of course, as fate would have it, the first of those severed days was the one in which, through a combination of good contacts and great luck, I had managed to finagle an appointment with the best (read: impossible-to-get-without-a-minimum-of-six-months-notice) masseuse on the island.
The club cards Finagle-a-Bagel started using were on the right track, Finagle's director of marketing Heather Robertson says, but weren't meeting the changing needs of its customer base.
Do we have the confident, gutsy self-image to finagle our way into the strategic planning process, modeling the skills of building a strategy, instead of trying to educate our leaders that whenever they have a strategy, communicating it is important?
This is the perspective most of these articles take on feminism as men try to figure out, "What am I missing out on here sexually and how can I finagle my way into getting some of it?"
Why sacrifice and deny ourselves material pleasures that we believe "everyone else has?" If we cannot legally have them right now, why not cheat or finagle them?
Politicians, including presidential wannabes, follow the beeline to the INC palace to finagle their blessings.
Nashville, TN, May 23, 2013 --(PR.com)-- Finagle today officially launched Just Like Who?