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Merriam-Webster drags Toronto over poorly worded dog sign

In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it looked like half the city had adopted a new puppy. Last spring, the parks were teeming with unruly spaniels, hyperactive goldendoodles and socially unfit terriers.

Perhaps this explains the ubiquity of these “Poop and Pee Free Zone” signs on people’s lawns, and other stern warnings to our four-legged friends.

But perhaps the strangest rule stems, apparently, from City Code No. 608, which decrees that “dogs that dig holes must have owners who fill them immediately.”

It’s a little strange sign, isn’t it? If I read correctly, this suggests that dogs are allowed to dig holes, but only if they agree to notify and compel their owners to fill them at once.

Even Merriam-Webster, internationally recognized dictionary par excellence, dragged the sign for its broken grammar, asking its followers to “Reword this sign to make it less weird.”

People responded with lots of smart responses:

Some people think the sign is just as it is:

A Toronto resident shared another strange dog sign spotted in the city.

In any case, nice to be on the world map!


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