Friday, January 15, 2016

Muphry's Law

Some readers have wondered why I claim only to edit the Society of Editors Newsletter "in places". Some suggest that I am too modest, or that I deliberately include a mistake or two in each issue, on the Islamic principle, or simply to make you feel superior. It is for none of these reasons. It is because of my deep respect for Muphry's Law.

Muphry's Law is the editorial application of the better-known Murphy's Law. Muphry's Law dictates that (a) if you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written; (b) if an author thanks you in a book for your editing or proofreading, there will be mistakes in the book; (c) the stronger the sentiment expressed in (a) and (b), the greater the fault; (d) any book devoted to editing or style will be internally inconsistent.
John Bangsund, Society of Editors Newsletter (Victoria, Australia), March 1992, reprinted in Bangsund's website, Threepenny Planet.

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