Sunday, April 10, 2011

"The Exception that Proves the Rule"

I hate the phrase, "that's the exception that proves the rule!"
It seems plainly false. An exception shows a rule to be false (or not entirely true and in need of modification), and at the very least the exception certainly doesn't prove the rule to be true.

The way the phrase is supposed to be used seems to make sense. But the way I always hear the phrase (mis)used now is the way it's used in the section, "Serious Nonsense" on the wik...i link.

The wiki also points out why this misuses is bad because it implies two stupid beliefs:

1. Exceptions can always be neglected.

2. A truth is all the truer if it is sometimes false.

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