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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1232
AUTHOR: Edward A. Murphy, Jr. (1918–)
QUOTATION: If there is a wrong way to do something, then someone will do it.
ATTRIBUTION: EDWARD A. MURPHY, JR., “Murphy’s Law.”—Robert L. Forward, “Murphy Lives!” Science 83, January-February 1983, p. 78. Commonly quoted as, “If anything can go wrong, it will.”—The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, ed. J. A. Simpson, p. 4 (1982), provides interesting historical notes on its origin and use.

A longer version appeared in a story about Murphy and his law in People, January 31, 1983, p. 82: “If there’s more than one way to do a job and one of those ways will end in disaster, then somebody will do it that way.”
SUBJECTS: Murphy’s Law