Claude Fetridge’s Infuriating Law.

Fetridge’s Law states that important things that are supposed to happen do not happen, especially when people are looking; or, conversely, things that are supposed not to happen do happen, especially when people are looking. Thus, as the writer puts it, a dog that will jump through a hoop a thousand times a day for his owner will not jump through a hoop when a neighbour is called to watch; and a baby that will say “Dada” in the presence of its proud parents will, when friends are summoned, either clam up or screech like a jaybird.

P.G.D.L.P.O.

The other day, when I was catching up on my reading, I happened to lay my hands on Alfred Rosa & Paul Eschholz’ The Writer’s Brief Handbook. As I was browsing through the section on Composing, its preface caught my attention.

The introduction begins interestingly with H Allen Smith’s simple essay Claude Fetridge’s Infuriating Law. The term ‘Fetridge’s Law’ aroused my interest. I have heard of Newton’s Law, Murphy’s Law, etc; but, Fetridge’s Law (?) …

. According to the author of this essay, Fetridge’s Law states that important things that are supposed to happen do not happen, especially when people are looking; or, conversely, things that are supposed not to happen do happen, especially when people are looking. Thus, as the writer puts it, a dog that will jump through a hoop a thousand times a day for his owner will not jump through a hoop when…

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