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Rules are meant to be broken superseded:

Sometimes ASL students may feel frustrated when their ASL teacher tells them a set of rules and then signers in the Deaf Community break the rule.

I would suggest a comparison between learning to sign and learning to draw faces. 

The "How to Draw" books often start out explaining how to draw a face by telling you to draw an oval and then raw a couple of intersecting lines down the middle and across the middle of the oval. Then you start filling in the details along those lines.

Those lines are "general rules" given to beginners for how to draw a "straight forward" (or straightforward) face.

Later when it is time to draw something other than a face looking directly forward -- those early rules *change* to match the more advanced demands of the new goal.

This isn't breaking a rule but rather it is applying a more advanced rule that supersedes a less advanced rule in order to match a more complex situation or because a person's ability has progressed beyond needing the guidelines that help beginners make progress.

It would be overwhelming to a beginner (and a pain in the rear for a teacher) to state a rule as:

Rule 1: Do it this way except in the following 653 situations...

So instead books and teachers tend to tell students:

Rule 1: Do it this way.





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