By Orla O’Connor
Who is Sod, and why does he get a law?
My car and another car had a fight this weekend. I was running late to meet my partner to finish our project video; I’d had no breakfast, as there is no food in my house. So I popped to Tescos on the way. As I was reversing out of my space I was looking at my blind spot and scratched another lady’s car. I was horrified. And worst things worse I had found a lucky penny on the street that morning and thought I was going to have an amazing day. Sod’s bloody law.
I started to wonder who this Sod guy was. What a dick he must have been and I decided to hit google to research and plot my revenge on Sir Sod. Turns out Sod supposedly wasn’t a person. Some sites claim sod comes from the word sodomite, leaving some claiming the true name is God’s law. The Cambridge dictionary defines sod as an unpleasant person (or a patch of land, but somehow I don’t think that is relevant).
The law is universally defined as – if something could go wrong it will go wrong. It is thought that sod’s law was the UK name passed down through word of mouth through generations. But the law first appeared in print under the name Murphy’s law. They claim a captain in the US air force used to say it to those under his command. Pro-Murphy name sites claim that the UK changed the name to sods law because of poor relations with Ireland.
There is even equations for Sods law. The first was printed in the 70’s: 1+1 ->2 (-> means rarely equals). But some have claimed that they have invented a formula to predict when sods law will strike.
(U+C+I) x (10-S))/20 x A x 1/(1-sin(F/10)
urgency (U), complexity (C), importance (I), skill (S) and frequency (F)
- Rate the urgency, importance and complexity on a scale of one to nine and add the three figures together
- Rate from one to nine how skilled you are at the task, then subtract this from 10
- Multiply answers to 1 and 2 and divide by 20
- Rate from one to nine how frequently you perform the task and divide this by 10
- Rate the sine (or sin) of your answer to step 4 and subtract this from 1
- Divide 1 by your answer to step 5
- Multiply your answer to step 3 by 0.7 and multiply this by your answer to step 6, and that’s your Sod’s Law rating. The closer to 10 it is, the higher your risk of falling victim.
But I guess the moral of the story is don’t be late to a meeting, and never trust a lucky penny.
In case you want to procrastinate further heres some of the websites I used: