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Blogger fired from language school over ‘homophonia’

Posted by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:30 PM
  • 22 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.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58236366-90/says-english-homophones-language.html.csp

by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:30 PM
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Replies (1-10):
stormcris
by Christy on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:32 PM

WTF

LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:34 PM
Dafuq????
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
quickbooksworm
by Gold Member on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:38 PM
1 mom liked this
Is this for real? I just asked my 9 year old if he knows what a homophone is and they learned it in first grade. I'm alarmed an administrator at a language school is not at the level of first grade American English.
Momniscient
by Obama licker on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:48 PM
Oh lord.
ashellbell
by shellbark on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:48 PM

This  can't be real. It can't be.

PerseyG
by Silver Member on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:49 PM
1 mom liked this
Is this an Onion article? seriously??

Is referring to humans as homo sapiens now politically charged?

What about homogenized milk?

I want a zombiepocolypse NOW. where are my damn zombies??
-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Im hoping its satire. But the Salt lake tribune is a dependable news source IMO. So unless this author went on a tangent him self I have no idea..

AdrianneHill
by Ruby Member on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:58 PM
WOW! Ignorance is godly more ways than one it seems.



And I must add, when I read the title, I thought he was fired for sounding too gay when he spoke. I don't know which is dumber; my first thought or reality.
cali_gurl
by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Guess I would have to read the original blog to know if it "promotes a gay agenda" or not. That would be an interesting read as I am an English grammar and ESL teacher. LOL

Debmomto2girls
by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 8:44 PM

I do not believe this story at all.

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