In response to Marcia Karp's :
> There are wonderful ways to except without excepting. No dogs being
> allowed in Oxford rooms, the master's dog was declared a cat and let be.
I don't know about Oxford, but this also happily occured at Trinity College,
Cambridge, the most anti-canine of colleges.
(Only wonderful for this his Master's dog, though; less than wonderful for
all the other canine might have been cats, denotations of 'cat' only ever
having been expanded for the most exceptional of exceptions, since the
Master, I imagine, serves as college lexicographer.)
Marcia Karp also wrote:
" More seriously, the "exceptional" woman has long been a problem."
There is a story that the Athenaeum Men's Club in London (of which T.S.
Eliot was a member) had amongst its rules a rule that it would always invite
the PM to become a member. When Margaret Thatcher was elected PM, the
Members wrote to her, puzzled, that they had a rule which required that the
PM was always invited to join, and another rule which forbid under any
circumstances the admission of women.
Mrs Thatcher wrote back: 'I prefer your second rule to your first.' (She
declined to join.)
An exceptional answer.