Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stupidity makes me sad, as Sheldon would say

Language School Blogger Fired for Writing About Homophones
A social media specialist for a Utah language school that teaches English to non-native speakers says he was fired for writing a blog post about homophones—words that sound the same, but carry different meanings—because his boss was afraid readers would think it was about "gay sex."

Tim Torkildson told the Salt Lake Tribune that shortly after his lesson went up, Nomen Global Language Center owner Clarke Woodger fired him, complaining "now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality."

"I had to look up the word" Woodger said, according to the account Torkildson published on his personal blog, "because I didn't know what the hell you were talking about. We don't teach this kind of advanced stuff to our students, and it's extremely inappropriate. Can you have your desk cleaned out by eleven this morning? I'll have your check ready."
Okay, obviously there's probably more to the story than just this, but it seems to me the school's owner shouldn't be in the education business. And no, their school is now going to be associated with stupidity, not homosexuality, in my opinion. Here's the Salt Lake Tribune article:

Paul Rolly: Blogger fired from language school over ‘homophonia’
Homophones, as any English grammarian can tell you, are words that sound the same but have different meanings and often different spellings — such as be and bee, through and threw, which and witch, their and there.

This concept is taught early on to foreign students learning English because it can be confusing to someone whose native language does not have that feature.

But when the social-media specialist for a private Provo-based English language learning center wrote a blog explaining homophones, he was let go for creating the perception that the school promoted a gay agenda.
Here is Torkildson's personal blog, iwritetheblogggs. Thanks to Carl Hylin, who commented on a Facebook post about it, thereby allowing me to see it and be horrified.

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