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Perrussel's Law

Origin of Perrussel's Law by Russell E. Perrussel

[Webmaster's Note: The following was written by our father, Russell E. Perrussel (1927-2005), discussing his "Perrussel's Law" that he wrote back in the 1980s and was published in a "Murphy's Law" book. It has been republished many times over the last 20+ years. He wanted this to be on the family genealogy website for others to read. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask his sons via the Contact Us page.]

Sometime during the summer of 1982, I (Chief Chemist of the Gulf Oil solvent refined coal pilot plant) was reviewing a report typed by my secretary. I decided that a sentence should be underlined. As time was short, I decided to do it quickly by using a ruler and a ball-point pen. As I was underlining it, the ruler slipped and a bad upper mark was made instead messing up the report. ("Haste make waste" saying had already be made years ago.)

The thought of simple jobs being done wrong had crossed my mind before from my own misactions as well as others. Thus, Perrussel's Law: "THERE IS NO JOB SO SIMPLE THAT IT CAN NOT BE DONE RONG" was created. [Note that I intentionally left off the first letter - 'W' - of the word: '(w)rong' to show that in writing the word:" wrong" that it could be misspelled phonetically as "rong", if you know what I meant.

On my desk at the time was a "Murphy's Law" day-by-day desk calendar edited by Arthur Bloch. In the back was a form to submit new "Murphy's Laws". If selected, you would get your new law printed and a free copy of the new Murphy's Laws calendar. I sent in Perrussel's Law and it was first printed (however with the 'W' in the word: wrong. I guess he thought that other people wouldn't understand the 'humor' of leaving it out.) on the Wednesday March 30 page of the 1983 calendar, of which I received a free copy.

Perrussel's Law (as well as others) has been used over and over again in many ways. (go to:
http://www.geocities.com/murphylawsite for a brief history of Murphy's Laws.)

Perrussel's Law (as well as others) has been translated into many languages. Some examples I have pulled off the Internet are:

British English
There is no task so easy that it can not be done incorrectly.

Loi de Perrussel - il n'y a aucune loi si simple qu'elle ne peut pas être faite mal.

Perrussel's Gesetz - Nichts ist so einfach, dass man's nicht falsch machen konnte.

Legge di Perrussel - Non c'e' lavoro tanto semplice che non possa essere fatto male.

Lei de Perrussel - não há nenhum trabalho assim simples que não pode ser feito erradamente

Ley de Perrussel - No hay ninguin trabajo tan sencillo que no pueda hacerse mal.

Other Languages
Perrussel'uv zakon: Zany pracovni ukol neni tak jednoduchy, aby se na nem nedalo neco pokazit.

De wet van Perrussel - Er is geen karwei zo simpel dat het niet verkeerd uitgevoerd kan worden.

Es bueno saberlo para trabajar sin presion

Llei de Perrussel: No hi ha feina tan simple que no es pugui fer malament.

Copyright © 2001-2006 Bruce & David Perrussel
Site created July 2001
Last Update: February 25, 2011