Merriam-Webster drags Toronto over poorly worded dog sign

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

Perhaps that explains the ubiquity of those “No Poop & Pee Zone” signs on people’s lawns, and other stern warnings to our four-legged friends.

A sign spotted in downtown Toronto.

But perhaps the oddest 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 bit of a strange sign, isn’t it? If I understood 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, trolled the sign for its broken grammar, asking its followers to “Reword this sign to make it less weird.”

People have chimed in with many clever responses:

Some think the sign is fine as it is:

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

Anyway, nice to be on the world map!


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