Fired over … homophones

TimTorkildson1

http://www.cbc.ca/asithappens/features/2014/07/31/language-school-blogger-writes-about-homophones-fired-when-boss-misunderstands-words-meaning/index.html

You mean homophones AREN’T cell phones that gays use???

Good Lord, does that also mean that that I’ve refused to drink homogenized milk all these years for NOTHING????

And I’ve avoided contact with any of those homo sapiens for nothing, too.

———————-

Until very recently, Timothy Torkildson blogged for the Nomen Global Language Center — an ESL school in Provo, Utah. Earlier this month, Mr. Torkildson wrote a blog post explaining why homophones can be a difficult concept for new English speakers to grasp. Then, he was fired.

In his original post entitled “Help with Homophones,” Torkildson wrote, “In English, a homophone is a word that has several different meanings and spellings, but always sounds the same. The best way to learn these tricky words is to memorize them little by little: ‘Ad’ is an advertisement. ‘Add’ is a mathematical function.”

Torkildson says his boss, Clarke Woodger, expressed concern that because of his use of the term homophone, “people might think it talked about some kind of gay agenda.”

When asked if Woodger knew the definition of the word, Torkildson says Woodger had to look it up in the dictionary after he read the blog.

His former employer confirmed the incident in the Salt Lake Tribune, “…people at this level of English,” Woodger said, “may see the ‘homo’ side and think it has something to do with gay sex.”

Torkildson describes the moment when he found out he was fired, “I was struck dumb. I really didn’t say anything at all. My first thought was, ‘I’ve lost my job. I wonder if I can get a good reference from him.'”

Torkildson, who used to work as a circus clown, sums up the experience this way, “Life usually is just a big joke. This is just another piece of the joke. That’s how I want to treat it.”

He worked at the center for less than three months before he was fired. Torkildson says he’s grateful to Woodger for having offered him the job.

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2 comments on “Fired over … homophones

  1. eflfocus says:

    I looked at the Blogger site for the school, it has spelling errors. The CEO’s Linkedin site has two entries. I am not even sure this guy got beyond a BA. Fellow Americans make me so proud.

  2. darvinbabiuk says:

    Don’t beat yourself up. If it were only so simple that bigots and closed minds came from only one country. They’re everywhere, from Albania to Alabama to Alma Ata.

    (love the Tom Robbins (?) line in one of his novels …. “… came from Alma Ata with my banjo on my knee.”)

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