At breakfast: Ed's talking about last night's game (Eagles v. Giants). Ed says the refs -- the regular refs, who are back on the job -- were making calls the replacement refs didn't, and the game was a thriller as a result.
What's been interesting about the replacement ref situation, to me, is the fact that the whole game of football -- almost the whole enterprise of professional football -- seemed to pretty much fell apart the instant the real refs left the field and the rules of football were being unpredictably observed and enforced. This episode has been an object lesson in the foundational importance rules: without the rules, you don't have a game.
Of course we all know that at some level, but ... we don't know the way we should. At least, I don't, or didn't. I was pretty gobsmacked by the misery of the fans over the past month.
Ed's reading to me now: 'when the officials walked onto the field they received a rousing standing ovation.'
Ed says: the rules have to be enforced, and they have to be enforced strongly.
It's the same thing with writing.
You need the "rules" -- and you need "strong' rules: rules teachers and students take seriously.
Writing without "rules" isn't writing.
And writing with only the faintest notion of what the rules are is bad writing.
American has survived the NFL's replacement refs
NFL officials receive loud cheers in first night back
David Foster Wallace on the seamy underbelly
speaking of grammar to enhance and enrich writing