No diggity: Merriam-Webster drags Toronto over poorly worded dog sign

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

Perhaps this explains the ubiquity of those “Urine and Poop No Zone” signs in people’s yards and other stern warnings to our four-legged comrades.

A billboard seen in downtown Toronto.

But perhaps the strangest rule apparently comes from Municipal Code #608, which decrees that “Dogs that dig holes must have their owners fill them immediately.”

It’s a bit of a strange sign, isn’t it? If I’m reading correctly, it suggests that dogs are they are allowed to dig holes, but only if they agree to notify and compel their owners to fill them immediately.

Even Merriam-Webster, internationally recognized dictionary by excellence, he dragged the sign for its broken grammar, asking his followers to “reword this sign to make it sound less weird.”

People chimed in with lots of smart responses:

Some think the signal is fine as is:

A Toronto resident shared another strange dog sign seen around the city.

Anyway, it’s good to be on the world map!


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