In 1974 (when I was seventeen) I wrote and published a Science Fiction story entitled: "Axioms of a Mad Poet". It was a completely amateurish story and I no longer have a copy of it. (If, by chance, anyone out there HAS a copy I would love to get it from you. It was published in a small 'summer project' newspaper in Toronto's East End and back then I used the name "W.B. Clarke" because I thought it sounded more 'authoritative'. Hey, I was seventeen.)
Despite its pedestrian nature, there was ONE line in that story that I really liked: 'Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.' It may be the most meaningful line I ever wrote and was completely original. I'd like to think it would be remembered as 'Clarke's Law' or 'Clarke's Razor' or something equally ominous.
The problem is, the line HAS been remembered and quoted extensively (try a GOOGLE search) but is never attributed to ME! It is sometimes referred to as 'Hanlon's Razor' - (a mis-spelling of Heinlein) because the line: "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity" is in "Logic of Empire" by Robert A. Heinlein. Nothing against him, but my phrasing is better and, frankly, more succinct.
I clearly remember writing this line because originally I had it as 'Never ascribe to malice that which is explained by stupidity' but decided to change 'ascribe' to 'attribute' and modify 'explained' by adding 'adequately' - I vividly remember making those changes and I was proud of the result even back in 1974.