Exception

Exception

Late Middle English, from Latin exceptio -onis, derived from excipĕre, “take out”.

The rule is what we consider normal, usual and therefore right. But the rule creates a boundary beyond which the exception, the unconventional and the error lie. The first is a known and comfortable space, the second is a terrain that we have not yet walked on and that scares us.

The exception confirms the rule; if we think about it, it means that the exception does not question but “reinforces” the rule, inoculating it and not moving it. It forces us to stay in zone of comfortable sufficiency; it discourages us from daring; it forces us to think that there is a normality that we cannot question, a socially accepted status quo that we need to strive for so not to feel out of place, excluded or derided. Anything that does not fall within this flow of normality – the exception – constitutes a deviation, a criticism, an anomaly and a discordant note.

Success, perfection and victory are our rules; failure, imperfection and defeat are our exceptions. By contrast, scientific principle is based on the assertion that the exception proves that the rule is wrong. If there is an exception, and it can be observed directly, then the rule is wrong.
The rule is not an obligation nor an absolute truth nor a dogma but an indication, as the word itself implies, a guide. We waste so much time on the mistake by thinking it is a wrong exception when we should be asking ourselves questions about the rightness of the rule.
It is only by breaking the rule that borders are extended and on borders we may discover a new world. It is only when we break the rule that anything is still possible.