Modern proverbs: humour and technology

If you’re too open-minded, your brains will fall out

Proverbs mirror our life according to our daily experience. While many of the old proverbs, created to serve as a guide through people’s lives many years ago, might still be useful to us, the development of science and technology have led to the creation of new proverbs, as, like language, proverbs follow and adapt to the changing of times. What’s more, we have also developed a more humorous, a lighter way to look at life and at things. Humour and irony help us overcome most of the small problems of everyday life, while technology, though meant to make our lives easier, sometimes adds new problems to the ones we share with our ancestors.

The phenomenon of the so-called Murphy’s laws, that is, humorous statements written in the serious  format of a proverb or of a scientific law (like the laws of Physics we have to memorize at school), continues to attract people from all over the world. There is nothing funnier, in fact, than reading about a frustrating situation we have experienced presented as a universal truth, shared by many others in the world, regardless of their nationality.

Here are some of these laws which I have been collecting over the years, grouped again according to their theme. By the way, should you want to read more, Murphy’s laws site can be viewed at link is in the NETtips reading section on the right).


Everything breaks down

After things have gone from bad to worse, the cycle will repeat itself

Bare feet magnetize sharp metal objects so they always point upward from the floor — especially in the dark

When a body is immersed in water, the phone rings


Toothache tends to start on Saturday night


All the good ones are taken

Brains x Beauty x Availability = Constant.
This constant is always zero.


The only time you win, it’s a pitifully small amount

Whoever wins either is already rich or has won at least once before


If it’s mine it’s mine,
if it’s yours it’s mine,
if I like it it’s mine,
if I can take it from you it is mine,
if I am playing with something ALL of the pieces are mine,
if I think it is mine it is,
if I saw it first it’s mine,
if I had it then put it down it is still mine,
if you had it then you put it down it is now mine,
if it looks like the one I have at home it is mine,

If I hid it well enough it will always be mine
if it is broken it is yours.


Mothers only offer advice on two occasions: when you want it and when you don’t..

If you forget, mom will remind you of all your mistakes so you don’t repeat them.

Anything you do can be criticized by your mother – even doing nothing.

The harder you try to hide something from your mother, the more she resembles a webcam.

Never tell your mother you have nothing to do. She can always find something.


For teachers:

New students come from schools that do not teach anything.

On a test day, at least 15% of the class will be absent

Nothing gets attention best like placing nails on the chalkboard.

For students:

A subject interesting to the teacher will bore students.

Every teacher assumes that you have nothing else to do except study for his/her lessons.

Anything in parentheses can be ignored.

You will always discover errors in your work after you have printed/submitted it.

No matter how much you study for a test you will be asked a question that you don’t know.


When you take your car to a mechanic because it makes a funny sound you will not be able to demonstrate it for the mechanic nor will you be able to describe.

Washing your car constitutes a rain dance to the raining gods.

After you wash your car, a huge insect will splotch on your windscreen.

If you’re stuck in a traffic jam and you move to the fast lane it will become the slowest lane, if you’ll move back, that lane will stand still.


Smile . . . tomorrow will be worse.

There is a solution to every problem; the only difficulty is finding it.

Chaos always wins, because it’s better organized.

People don’t make the same mistake twice, they make it three, four, or five times.

Food that tastes the best has the highest number of calories.

If, in the course of several months, only three worthwhile social events take place, they will all fall on the same evening.

  1. If you keep anything long enough you can throw it away.
  2. If you throw anything away, you will need it as soon as it is no longer accessible.

If it can break, it will, but only after the warranty expires.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


Format C: fixes all

The hard drive on your computer will only crash when it contains vital information that has not been backed up.

Profanity is one language all computer users know.

Failure is not an option, it’s included with the software.

The only program that runs perfectly every time is a virus

If you forget to save your work every 5 minutes, it will break down after you’ve been at it for an hour.

When the Downloading Window says “99%complete”, there will be a fluctuation in the voltage and you’ll have to start all over again

Does any of these “new” proverbs apply to you? Have you ever shared any of the experiences described? Can you think of adding some more of your own to this list?

Have a nice week! And remember… smile! 😉

teacher b.

One thought on “Modern proverbs: humour and technology

  1. The section CHILDREN’S LOGIC is hilarious 🙂
    I wonder why children are so possessive with toys!
    Perhaps they love their toys and they make them feel stronger and bigger!
    The section about SCHOOL is also very funny; I have to say, sometimes, we as students do think all of those things about our teachers 😉

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