Unwritten Laws: The Unofficial Rules of Life as Handed Down by Murphy and Other Sages

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Crown Publishers, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 290 pages
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CAPONE'S LAW. You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone.
LANCE'S LAW. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
MILLER'S LAW. The quality of food in restaurants is in inverse proportion to the number of signed celebrity photographs on the wall.
WALPOLE'S LAW. Every man has his price.

Unwritten Laws is a wonderfully entertaining treasury of more than five hundred rules, strategies, and ironical insights, with many amendments and corollaries, all associated with particular individuals.
Organized alphabetically, from Lady Astor ("All women marry beneath them.") to Zeno ("The goal of life is living in agreement with nature."), from Woody Allen ("Eighty percent of success is showing up.") to Oscar Wilde ("There are two tragedies in life. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it."), Unwritten Laws contains a generous sampling of the collective wisdom of humankind.
Hugh Rawson not only gives sources and dates for the law's, but annotates them with fascinating details. For example, Alfred Lord Tennyson's widely accepted "In the spring a young man's fancy turns lightly to thoughts of love" turns out to be a mistake, recent research showing that male testosterone levels are actually higher in the fall!
This delightful book is as wonderful for browsing as it is for providing guidance over the rocks and shoals of life.

"From the Trade Paperback edition.

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About the author (1997)

HUGH RAWSON's popular books on language include Rawson's Dictionary of Euphemisms & Other Doubletalk, Wicked Words, and Devious Derivations. Director of Penguin Reference Books at Penguin USA and a member of The Authors Guild, he lives in Roxbury, Connecticut.<br>

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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