Laws of Amorous Correspondence
First Law
No letter, whose length is greater than M1 and whose emotional
content exceeds M2, is free from the possibility of misinterpretation.
where M1 is the verbosity constant
and M2 is the honesty-is-the-best-policy coefficient
(Experiment shows that the values of M1 and M2 are small - always smaller
than the letter writer expects - and a function of the recipient of the
letter.)
Second Law
The longer one takes trying to find the right tone, and the more one
thinks one has, the more one is deluding oneself and wasting time.
Third Law (the Quicksand Theorem)
The quantity of misunderstanding in a continuing corresponence - an
initial letter and subsequent attempts to clear up the mess caused
- cannot decrease with the number of letters written.
(The form of this law - reminiscent of the case of entropy - suggests
that amorous correspondence is a simple application of thermodynamics,
but this is illusory since it implies the possibility of a proper
understanding of the subject which would lead, in its application, to
a violation of the First Law, the truth of which is obvious. (Proof
left as an excercise for the reader.))
The Corollary of the Quicksand Theorem is the Celibacy Strategy :
If at first you don't suceed, shrug your shoulders and say "I can live
without her: it's her loss not mine." The Celibacy is perhaps more
aptly described by its other name - the Pique Response.
Fourth Law
The more one wants the letter to achieve its desired result, the more
one will regret that one was quite so frank when its failure becomes
apparent.
Critics have noted that the Fourth Law is nothing more than a particular
instance of the much more general "Bollocks - did I really say that ?"
Law, which may be derived straightforwardly from the basic features of
the human condition.
Such critics have also noted that the Laws as they are presently formulated
are somewhat vague, but assert the following cautionary theorem : " Any
attempt to find a tighter formulation of the Laws of Amorous Correspondence
will require further experimental work which will necessarily cause grief
to the experimenter. Is it worth it ?"