Sorry for the tardy reply.
I think you've shouted out what should become more and more of a real concern in the goal of graph adoption: consistency in all the ways we interact with the graph. E.g.,: why quotes on one direction and no quote on the opposite; why part of my communication with Neo4j's DB allows something (like "_") ...but not always [your concern]; what's the real impact/function of the comma in a Cypher query; etc.
"Elegance" is my favorite term in English because it means: "beauty that shows unusual effectiveness and simplicity". Build elegant solutions is not about the aesthetic, rather the ability to create enjoyable habits that quickly become intuitive. Unfortunately, engineers test solutions 500+ times until we're ready to ship thus creating very little understanding of real-world use cases.
In short, I think we're in an opportunistic time for graphs and their adoption. Meaning, things will be immature for a while and we'll need folks like you to call out use cases like yours (and you're not alone BTW!).
We're all "early adopters" at this point in the graph community - which is our opportunity to learn what changes are needed in order to speak clearly to the upcoming pragmatists so they jump onboard