Q. I see the word “that” in constructions where clarity would not be diminished without it. An example in the Q&A was “He thinks that, if he asks for directions, his membership in the brotherhood of men will be revoked.” I consider “He thinks if he . . .” correct.

A. Both constructions are correct, but leaving out “that” can lead to confusion whenever the next noun can be mistaken for an object of the verb (I judged for thirty years the county fair pickling contest was rigged). It’s safer to include “that.” You can always reconsider if it is awkward for any reason.