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"The university should stringently enforce the rules.",

What word can be used in the place of the word "enforce" to make this sentence less extreme?

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    Uphold? 3. To maintain or affirm: uphold a standard of behavior. Also why don't you start by removing "stringently" as Glorfindel suggested? "Stringently" only intensifies the enforcement, so you can start from there. – Zebrafish Jan 3 at 10:01
  • I agree that if you are going to replace enforce, you should also drop stringently. It makes no sense to say stringently ponder, for instance. – Jason Bassford Jan 3 at 10:30
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I'd rather drop the word stringently to make the sentence less extreme. Enforce has several synonyms but they'll all sound extreme next to stringently.

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Changing more than just the word enforce, you could say something like this:

The university should be guided by the rules.

This is akin to saying that, everything being equal, the rules should be followed. However, the spirit of the rules should be considered and there may be some cases where they can be open to more than a strictly literal interpretation.

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A more neutral-sounding term is promulgate.

"to put (a law or rule) into action or force." (Mirriam-Webster dictionary).

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