Another documentation section that might be useful is 18.1, which basically tells you a lot of phrases* that can be used to start rules, and some that start things that look like rules but aren’t.
*There’s a technical meaning of “phrase” in Inform, but I mean “phrase” as in “a bunch of words.”
Best guess: a stray incorrect quotation mark earlier in the source is screwing up Inform’s interpretation.
It looks like there are newlines embedded within the string in the first example. Is that allowed?
I think Ron Newcomb calls those “constructs.”