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Law of holes

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Law of holes

The first law of holes, or the law of holes, is an adage which states that "if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging". Meaning that if in an untenable position, it is best to stop carrying on and exacerbating the situation.

Attribution

The adage has been attributed to a number of sources. It appeared in print on page six of The Washington Post dated October 25, 1911, in the form: "Nor would a wise man, seeing that he was in a hole, go to work and blindly dig it deeper..." In The Bankers Magazine, it was published in 1964 as: "Let me tell you about the law of holes: If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." The part after the colon in that version has also been attributed to American humorist Will Rogers.

In the United Kingdom, it has been referred to as "Healey's first law of holes" after politician Denis Healey, who quoted the adage in the 1980s and later.

References

Law of holes Wikipedia


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