A quiz about eponymous laws — those that are named after someone.

  1. Mike Godwin observed in 1990 that as a Usenet discussion grows longer, someone will eventually make an analogy that invokes one of two proper nouns. Name those words for a half point each.
  2. What critic gave his name to this law: a work “is not about what it is about. It is about how it is about it.”
  3. What two variables have an inversely proportional relationship when you’re describing a fixed quantity of an ideal gas at a constant temperature, according to Boyle’s Law? Half point each.
  4. Hanlon’s Razor cautions that you should never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by what?
  5. According to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered with what word?
  6. Clarke’s Third Law and Niven’s Law are complementary observations that what two phenomena are indistinguishable from each other?
  7. If you apply Dolbear’s law, you can figure out how warm it is by using the behavior of what insect?
  8. What American journalist, known as the Sage of Baltimore, is sometimes credited with the law “Those who can, do. Those who can’t do, teach”?
  9. Brooks’ Law observes that adding additional people to work on a late software project only makes it later. In an often quoted analogy, Brooks noted that nine women cannot do what specific project?
  10. According to Hofstadter’s Law, coined in the book Gödel Escher Bach, “it always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account” what?


  1. Hitler and Nazis
  2. Roger Ebert
  3. pressure and volume
  4. stupidity
  5. no
  6. magic and technology
  7. cricket (chirp rate)
  8. H.L. Mencken
  9. make a baby in one month
  10. Hofstadter’s Law