Cunningham’s Law: “The best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, it’s to post the wrong answer.”
Submitted by Stephen McGeady of Portland, OR, in response to a Schott’s Vocab competition in which readers were invited to formulate novel eponymous laws.
McGeady went on to say that the law is named after Ward Cunningham, a colleague of McGeady’s at Tektronix:
This was his advice to me in the early 1980s with reference to what was later dubbed USENET, but since generalized to the Web and the Internet as a whole. Ward is now famous as the inventor of the Wiki. Ironically, Wikipedia is now perhaps the most widely-known proof of Cunningham's Law.
By the way, if you enjoy the Schott’s Vocab blog as much as I do, you’ll want to listen to “Saying the World,” the most recent program of To the Best of Our Knowledge from Wisconsin Public Radio. The eponymous Ben Schott is the segment’s first interviewee; he talks about how he discovers his “miscellany of modern words and phrases,” mostly on the Internet.