Take that, pedants

Many writers and editors subscribe to the principle that when used as a conjunction, the word ‘that’ can always, without exception, be cut from a sentence with no resultant impact on the overall effect. And in most cases, this is true. Brevity is clarity. Remove redundant words. Less is more (yawn).

But occasionally, less really is less – especially when it creates more work for the reader, which is the last thing you want unless you want your reader to go elsewhere.
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Lost for words in Mickey’s magic kingdom

Arriving recently at Disneyland I came across the sign pictured above while walking to the hotel entrance. Something about it bothered me.

Presumably what Mickey and Goofy meant when they briefed their sign writer was “Look, we gotta tell people to take the goddam sidewalk instead of jaywalking across the driveway.” What they ended up with was a blunt directive likely to prompt the puzzled reaction: ‘Er, utilize the sidewalk for what?’
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