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Business one-liners 09

2006-07-08 09:01

  Acheson's Rule Of The Bureaucracy: A memorandum is written not to inform the reader, but to protect the writer. - Dean Acheson

  Action's Law: Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  Adler's Distinction: Language is all that separates us from the lower animals, and from the bureaucrats.

  Advertising Rule: In writing a patent-medicine advertisement, first convince the reader that he has the disease he is reading about; secondly, that it is curable.

  Air Force Inertia Axiom: Consistency is always easier to defend than correctness.

  Allen's Distinction: The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won't get much sleep. - Woody Allen

  Albrecht's Law: Social innovations tend to the level of minimum tolerable well-being.

  Alden's Laws: (1) Giving away baby clothes and furniture is the major cause of pregnancy. (2) Always be backlit. (3) Sit down whenever possible.

  Andrea's Admonition: Never bestow profanity upon a driver who has wronged you. If you think his window is closed and he can't hear you, it isn't and he can.

  Churchill's Commentary on Man: Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.

  Approval Seeker's Law: Those whose approval you seek the most give you the least. - Washington writer Rozanne Weissman

  The Aquinas Axiom: What the gods get away with, the cows don't.

  Army Axiom: Any order that can be misunderstood has been misunderstood.

  Arnold's Laws of Documentation: (1) If it should exist, it doesn't. (2) If it does exist, it's out of date. (3) Only documentation for useless programs transcends the first two laws.

  Astrology Laws: It's always the wrong time of the month. - Rozanne Weissman

  Avery's Rule of Three: Trouble strikes in series of threes, but when working around the house the next job after a series of three is not the fourth job - it's the start of a brand new series of three.

  Baer's Quartet: What's good politics is bad economics; what's bad politics is good economics; what's good economics is bad politics; what's bad economics is good politics. - Eugene Baer (Baer also allows that it can be restated somewhat more compactly as “What's good politics is bad economics and vice versa, vice versa.”)

  Bagdikian's Observation: Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach's “St. Matthew Passion” on a ukelele.

  Baker's First Law of Federal Geometry: A block grant is a solid mass of money surrounded on all sides by governors.

  Anthony's Law of Force: Don't force it, get a larger hammer.

  Anthony's Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll into the least accessible corner or the workshop. Corollary: On the way to the corner, any dropped tool will first always strike your toes.

  Baker's Law: Misery no longer loves company, Nowadays it insists on it. - Columnist Russell Baker

  Banacek's Eighteenth Polish Proverb: The hippo has no sting, but the wise man would rather be sat upon by the bee.

  Barker's Proof: Proofreading is more effective after publication.

  Becker's Law: It is much harder to find a job than to keep one. - Jules Becker & Co. (Becker goes on to claim that his law permeates industry as well as government, “……once a person has been hired inertia sets in, and the employer would rather settle for the current employee's incompetence and idiosyncrasies than look for a new employee.”)

  Belle's Constant: The ratio of time involved in work to time available for work is about 0.6. - from a 1977 JIR article of the same title by Daniel McIvor and Olsen Belle, in which it is observed that knowledge of this constant is most useful in planning long-range projects. It is based on such things as an analysis of an eight hour workday in which only 4.8 hours are actually spent working (or 0.6 of the time available), with the rest being spent on coffee breaks, bathroom visits, resting, walking, fiddling around, and trying to determine what to do next.

  Bennett's Laws of Horticulture: (1) Houses are for people to live in. (2) Gardens are for plants to live in. (3) There is no such thing as a houseplant.

  Berkeley's Laws: (1) The world is more complicated than most of our theories make it out to be. (2) Ignorance is no excuse. (3) Never decide to buy something while listening to the salesman. (4) Most problems have either many answers or no answer. Only a few problems have a single answer. (5) Most general statements are false, including this one. (6) An exception - test a rule; it never proves it. (7) The moment you have worked out an answer, start checking it; it probably isn't right. (8) If there is an opportunity to make a mistake, sooner or later the mistake will be made. (9) Check the answer you have worked out once more - before you tell anybody. - Edmund C. Berkeley

  Berra's Law: You can observe a lot just by watching. - Yogi Berra

  Bierman's Laws of Contracts: (1) In any given document, you can't cover all the “what if's”。 (2) Lawyers stay in business resolving all the unresolved “what if's”。 (3) Every resolved “what if” creates two unresolved “what if's”。

  Billing's Law: Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. - Josh Billings

  Billings Phenomenon: The conclusions of most good operations research studies are obvious. - Robert E. Machol (The name refers to a well-known Billings story in which a farmer becomes concerned that his black horses are eating more than his white horses. He does a detailed study of the situation and finds that he has more black horses than white horses, Machol points out.)

  Bloom's Seventh Law of Litigation: The judge's jokes are always funny.

  Blutarsky's Axiom: Nothing is impossible for the man who will not listen to reason.

  Bolton's Law Of Ascending Budgets: Under current practices, both expenditures and revenues rise to meet each other, no matter which one may be in excess. - Joe Bolton, Fellow of the RAND Graduate Institute

  Bonafede's Revelation: The conventional wisdom is that power is an aphrodisiac. In truth, it's exhausting. - Dom Bonafede in a February, 1977 article in the Washington Post entitled “Surviving in Washington”

  Boren's Laws Of The Bureaucracy: (1) When in doubt, mumble. (2) When in trouble, delegate. (3) When in charge, ponder. - James H. Boren, Founder, President and Chairperson of the Board of the International Association of Professional Bureaucrats [INATAPROBU]

  Boucher's Observation: He who blows his own horn always plays the music several octaves higher than originally written.

  Bove's Theorem: The remaining work to finish in order to reach your goal increases as the deadline approaches.

  Boyle's Laws: (1) The success of any venture will be helped by prayer, even in the wrong denomination. (2) When things are going well, someone will inevitably experiment detrimentally. (3) The deficiency will never show itself during the dry runs. (4) Information travels more surely to those with a lessor need to know. (5) An original idea can never emerge from committee in the original. (6) When the product is destined to fail, the delivery system will perform perfectly. (7) The crucial memorandum will be snared in the out-basket by the paper clip of the overlying correspondence and go to file. (8) Success can be insured only by devising a defense against failure of the contingency plan. (9) Performance is directly affected by the perversity of inanimate objects. (10) If not controlled, work will to the competent man until he submerges. (11) The lagging activity in a project will invariably be found in the area where the highest overtime rates lie waiting. (12) Talent in staff work or sales will recurringly be interrupted as managerial ability. (13) The “think positive” leader tends to listen to his subordinates' premonitions only during the postmortems. (14) Clearly stated instructions will consistently produce multiple interpretations. (15) On successive charts of the same organization the number of boxes will never decrease. - Charles P. Boyle, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA

  Bradley's Bromide: If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee; that will do them in.

  Brady's First Law of Problem Solving: When confronted by a difficult problem, you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, “How would the Lone Ranger have handled this?”

  Brien's First Law: At some time in the life cycle of virtually every organization, its ability to succeed in spite of itself runs out.

  Brilliant's Law Of Limited Ambition: If you can't learn how to do it well, learn how to enjoy doing it poorly.

  Brilliant's Observation On Modern Art: Not all our artists are playing a joke on the public. Some are genuinely mad.

  Bureau Termination, Law of: When a government bureau is scheduled to be phased out, the number of employees in that bureau will double within 12 months after the decision is made.

  Brooke's Law: Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

  Calkin's Law of Menu Language: The number of adjectives and verbs that are added to the description of a menu item is in inverse proportion to the quality of the dish.

  Canada Bill Jones's Motto: It is morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money.

  Canada Bill Jones's Supplement: A Smith and Wesson beats four aces.

  Captain Penny's Law: You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you Can't Fool Mom.

  Carlson's Consolation: Nothing is ever a complete failure; it can always serve as a bad example.

  Carson's Observation on Footwear: If the shoe fits, buy the other one, too.

  Chism's Law of Completion: The amount of time required to complete a government project is precisely equal to the length of time already spent on it.

  Chisolm's First Corollary to Murphy's Second Law: When things just can't possibly get any worse, they will.

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