Some students loved diagramming. In sixth grade, Florey was hooked by the enthusiasm of a nun named Sister Bernadette and by the visual appeal of the diagrams themselves -- "the curious geometric shapes they made, their maplike tentacles, the way the words settled primly along their horizontals like houses on a road."
And that, Florey said, is one of the appeals of diagramming. "Diagramming gives grammar, proper English and good usage the same kind of respectability that math has. It shows that there's a right answer and a wrong answer.