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Blogger fired from language school over ‘homophonia’

Posted by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:03 PM
  • 20 Replies



Paul Rolly: Blogger fired from language school over ‘homophonia’

By PAUL ROLLY

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jul 29 2014 08:44 pm • Last Updated Jul 29 2014 09:32 pm

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.

Tim Torkildson says after he wrote the blog on the website of his employer, Nomen Global Language Center, his boss and Nomen owner Clarke Woodger, called him into his office and told him he was fired.

As Torkildson tells it, Woodger said he could not trust him and that the blog about homophones was the last straw.

"Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality," Woodger complained, according to Torkildson, who posted the exchange on his Facebook page.

Torkildson says he was careful to write a straightforward explanation of homophones. He knew the "homo" part of the word could be politically charged, but he thought the explanation of that quirky part of the English language would be educational.

Nomen has removed that blog from its website, but a similar explanation of homophones was posted there in 2011 with apparently no controversy.

Woodger says his reaction to Torkildson’s blog has nothing to do with homosexuality but that Torkildson had caused him concern because he would "go off on tangents" in his blogs that would be confusing and sometimes could be considered offensive.

Nomen is Utah’s largest private English as a Second Language school and caters mostly to foreign students seeking admission to U.S. colleges and universities. Woodger says his school has taught 6,500 students from 58 countries during the past 15 years. Most of them, he says, are at basic levels of English and are not ready for the more complicated concepts such as homophones.

by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:03 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 6:48 AM

Here's the blog post he wrote:


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Help with Homophones. #1.

Help with Homophones.
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.  Today we will begin with homophones that start with the letter A:
·         Ad is an advertisement.  Add is a mathematical function.
·         Ail is to be sick.  Ale is an alcoholic beverage.
·         Aye means yes.  Eye is what you see with.
·         Air is what you breathe.  Err is to make a mistake.  Heir is someone who inherits.
·         Ate is the past tense for eat.  Eight is how you spell out the number 8.
·         Allowed is to do something with permission.  Aloud is to vocalize, to speak.
·         Ant is an insect.  Aunt is your mother or father's sister.

·         Assistance is help.  Assistants are helpers.  
Nomen Global Language Center, in Provo, Utah, has the most up-to-date teaching curriculum to help you succeed in using the English language to succeed in school, in business, and in every other important endeavor in your life.  Clickhere for more information.  
Clairwil
by Platinum Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 6:49 AM


Quoting -Celestial-:


Woodger says his reaction to Torkildson’s blog has nothing to do with homosexuality but that Torkildson had caused him concern because he would "go off on tangents" in his blogs that would be confusing and sometimes could be considered offensive.

The Homophones Got Me! A Record of a Recent Firing.

Are YOU a homophone?

Are YOU a homophone?

A homophone, in case you do not know, is a word that has a different meaning for each different spelling, but always sounds the same; such as “be”, “bee”, and “Bea”.  There are hundreds of these in the English language, and it is one of the first subjects tackled when teaching ESL.  It is a subject that has been taught and discussed with absolutely no controversy for well over a hundred years.

Until now . . .

This week I was fired for writing a blog about homophones for an educational website.

“I’m letting you go because I can’t trust you” said Clarke Woodger, my boss and the owner of Nomen Global Language Center.  “This blog about homophones was the last straw.  Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality.”

I said nothing, stunned into silence.

“I had to look up the word” he continued, “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.”

I nodded, mute.

“Good.  You’ve done a good job on most things, but you’re just not reliable enough.  I never have any idea what you’re going to do next.  I can’t run my business that way. You’d probably make a great college professor, but since you don’t have a degree you’ll never get that kind of work.  I would advise you to try something clerical, where you’ll be closely supervised and have immediate goals at all times.  That’s the only kind of job you’ll ever succeed at.  I’ll be happy to give you a good reference.  Good-bye, and good luck.”

He rose, shook my hand, and left the conference room where we had been sitting.

I was out the door, at the bus stop, by 11:05.

After depositing my check at the bank I walked home along the Provo River Path.  It was warm, but isolated thunderheads kept the sun in check.  The river is low and smells of sewers.  Trout are frantically leaping up the spillway by the Columbia Lane Bridge.  Dozens of swallows have built their nests under the bridge; they describe wide, frantic circles and give high peeps when they land at their mud-daubed nests. It was pleasant to stop there – now that I have all the time in the world again.

Further along the path is a wild cherry tree growing up from the bank of the river.  Underneath the cherry tree is a green wire bench installed by the Parks and Recreation Department.  I sat down to rest there. The cherries are dead ripe and falling onto the pathway, where they are mashed by pedestrians and bicyclists. Wasps stay busy feeding on the sweet pulp.  A homeless man, shouldering a towering backpack, his white beard stained brown with tobacco juice, came striding by, stepping right into the pulp and riling the wasps.  One of them stung him. He turned to me, holding up a tree branch he was using as a walking stick, and cried “You bit me!”

I did not try to defend myself.  Somehow, it seemed just about right – done in by a crazy old bum with a tree branch.  But he lowered it slowly and turned back to his odyssey, mumbling obscenities.  I continued to sit there another ten minutes, then slowly got up and went back to my room underneath the basement steps of a friend’s house, where I am writing this.  I promised him I would be out of his house by the end of August.  Maybe I should have followed the bum; he seemed to know where he was going.

When one door closes, it’s usually right on your fingers.

Ms.KitKat
by on Jul. 31, 2014 at 9:03 AM
3 moms liked this

lol

this is grate!

and to think so many on cm are cereal homophone-offenders.

littlemum41
by on Jul. 31, 2014 at 4:23 PM


Quoting Ms.KitKat:

lol

this is grate!

and to think so many on cm are cereal homophone-offenders.

Bwahaha! I see what ya did there! 

GOOD one !

( I don't want no homophones living in MY neighborhood...)

Pema_Jampa
by Emerald Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 4:25 PM

FFS

Ms.KitKat
by on Jul. 31, 2014 at 4:26 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting littlemum41:

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

lol

this is grate!

and to think so many on cm are cereal homophone-offenders.

Bwahaha! I see what ya did there! 

GOOD one !

( I don't want no homophones living in MY neighborhood...)

Eye no!

Write?!

littlemum41
by on Jul. 31, 2014 at 4:29 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Ms.KitKat:

Quoting littlemum41:

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

lol

this is grate!

and to think so many on cm are cereal homophone-offenders.

Bwahaha! I see what ya did there! 

GOOD one !

( I don't want no homophones living in MY neighborhood...)

Eye no!

Write?!

'Uv coarse !  :)

Ms.KitKat
by on Jul. 31, 2014 at 4:29 PM
1 mom liked this

That is an acronym- which perhaps is not aloud either.

Quoting Pema_Jampa:

FFS


autodidact
by Gold Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 4:40 PM

School of Fail

who wants their children taught by such dumbasses? 

Pema_Jampa
by Emerald Member on Jul. 31, 2014 at 4:47 PM
1 mom liked this

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