It's more than Murphy's Law...
March 8, 2017 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Is there a collective term that is used to categorize adages such as Murphy's Law?

Across multidisciplinary areas, distilled ideas or laws have been created to summate an insight or principle for human understanding. They are referred to as laws, adages, and colloquialisms.

But is there a collective term that is used to identify these? Can anyone recommend resources or a repository that attempts to composite them?
posted by banterboy to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
At risk of this also being a colloquialism that you're not looking for, "heuristic?"
posted by batter_my_heart at 2:24 PM on March 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Wikipedia lists it as an Unintended Consequence.
posted by soelo at 2:25 PM on March 8, 2017


"An aphorism (from Greek ἀφορισμός aphorismos, "delimitation") is a terse saying, expressing a general truth, principle, or astute observation, and spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form."
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:27 PM on March 8, 2017 [7 favorites]

For a list, Wikipedia also has a page for Eponymous Laws, which are different from eponymous statutes which refers to actual legislation.
posted by soelo at 2:28 PM on March 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

My friend has an occasional mailing list where he writes one of these up every few days. It's called Laws of the Universe. You can look through the archives.
posted by jessamyn at 3:23 PM on March 8, 2017

Rule of Thumb?
posted by irisclara at 3:26 PM on March 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

My first thought was axiom, but I think Nonsteroidal's response is better.
posted by she's not there at 3:27 PM on March 8, 2017

posted by Jabberwocky at 1:22 AM on March 9, 2017

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Seolo's suggestion was what I was looking for, much gratitude!
posted by banterboy at 2:14 PM on March 9, 2017

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