I have decided to rewrite this article and summarized my comments here so it is easier for people to see my point of view.  There is not always one answer and one way of writing.  Any language being spoken is alive and will evolve.  The grammar rules will change and the exceptions will become norm.

 

Here are my explanation and supporting documents from grammars taught in American universities, papers written by American professors, articles posted by American writers, and etc. 

 

(A) Life is not worth living = Life is not worthy of living.  As I explained in my comments, there are other ways to write.  I will not get any further into that here.

 

Explanation:

 

(1) Life is worth living.

Worth => preposition.

Living (gerund, noun) => object of preposition.

 

S + be + prep + gerund (noun).

I am over having a crush on him.

He is beyond listening to advice.

 

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/books/2004182127_buzz17.html   

If these guys recommend books, they are worth reading.

 

(2) Life is worthy of living.

Worthy => adjective

Of  => preposition

Living (gerund) => object of preposition

 

S   + be + adj + prep + gerund (noun).

This book is good for light reading.

 

From: The University of Alabama
Chapter 10: Grammar and Usage
See
www.uah.edu/editing/Rude_Ch10_Ex4_5_KEY.doc
Biotechnology will soon be capable of mapping and sequencing the human genome.

 

http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com/Its-All-About-Culture/438

This book is a gem worthy of reading on its own.

http://www.chgs.umn.edu/educational/genocideForum/year2/no6.html
At the Heart of the Holocaust: "Life Unworthy of Living".

 

(B) Except for the chair, there is hardly any furniture. = Except the chair, there is hardly any furniture. 

"except for" and "except" can often be used interchangeably without any difference in meaning:

Everyone came to the party, except (for) Mary.

Explanation:

http://www.yourdictionary.com/idioms/except-for   

 

(1) except for + n. = except + n. = = with the exception of +n. = other than + n.

 

For example:

Except for a broken chair, the room has no furniture.

除了一把壞椅子外,這房間沒有家具

= Except a broken chair, the room has no furniture.

=> This means:  A broken chair is the only furniture in this room.

 

Except for the cold, I am feeling quite well.

=> This means:  The cold is the only thing bothering me.  I will be 100% fine if I don’t  have the cold.

 

Except for Mary, everyone came to the party.

=> This means:  Mary did not come to the party.

 

In addition to the above meaning, “Except for” can mean “如果不是”

(B) except for + n. = were it not for +n.  如果不是

 

For example:

Except for your timely rescue, I would be dead.

=Were it not for your timely rescue, I would be dead.

 

Mary would commit suicide except for her dying mom.

=If it weren't for Mary's dying mom, she would commit suicide.

 

We talk about the area where you would use "except for" instead of "except".  Now, I want to point out the areas where you would use "except" rather than "except for".  It is when followed by prepositions, infinitives, conjunctions, adverbs, clauses, and grammatical elements other than a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase. 

 

 

For example:

Mary has no solution to the dispute except to ask both parties to calm.

You can hardly see snow in Taiwan except on mountains.

John never talks to me except when he wants my help.

My kids did nothing all summer long except eat.

Carrie is doing nothing right now except complaining about her job.   

 

Remember to keep symmetry in the sentence.

My kids did nothing all summer long except eat.

Carrie is doing nothing right now except complaining about her job.   

She excels in nothing except playing piano.

I hate exercising except swimming.

He has nothing to do except to watch TV.

 

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