S. Lang gives a statement on page x of his 'Algebra':

Most of our diagrams are composed of triangles and squares as above, and to verify that a diagram consisting of triangles and squares is commutative it suffices to verify that each triangle and square in it is commutative.

If we want to prove this statement the problem arises of defining precisely what 'consisting of squares and triangles' means.

The most obvious definitions of such diagrams (every vertex (arrow) belongs to a triangle\square) turn out to be unsatisfactory (the Lang's statement is wrong then, think of a pentagonal diagram with a commutative triangle on each side (all suitably oriented)).

How could the intuitive notion of a 'diagram consisting of squares and triangles' be strictly formulated such that the Lang's statement is always true?