Blogger gets fired from language school for 'homophones' - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Blogger gets fired from language school for 'homophones'

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Tim Torkildson says he was fired from an English language learning center in Utah for writing a blog about homophones. (Source: Facebook) Tim Torkildson says he was fired from an English language learning center in Utah for writing a blog about homophones. (Source: Facebook)

(RNN) - A social media strategist for a Utah school that teaches English as a second language was fired for a blog post about homophones – words that sound alike but have a different meaning.

Tim Torkildson was let go from the Nomen Global Language Center because his boss, Clark Woodger, thought it would make people think the school had a gay agenda because homophone sounds kind of like homosexual - or homophobe.

According to Torkildson’s blog, Woodger said it was his last straw.

“I’m letting you go because I can’t trust you.” Woodger said. “This blog about homophones was the last straw. Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality.”

Torkildson said he was stunned into silence.

“I had to look up the word because I didn’t know what the hell you were talking about," Woodger said. "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.”

Homophone.com describes the English language as a “melting pot” of words that are derived from many other languages. 

The language school's  mission statement reads: “Nomen Global Language Centers substantially helps students from all cultures and walks of life to excel in each aspect of their English acquisition and to obtain their goals for the future.”

That goal is achieved with “qualified and experienced faculty, dedicated staff, engaging and challenging curriculum, and professional and ethical student services.”

Woodger told the The Salt Lake City Tribune his reaction to Torkildson’s blog had nothing to do with homosexuality. He said Torkildson had caused concerns because he would "go off on tangents" in his blogs that would be confusing and offensive.

According to Torkildon's blog, Woodger told him, “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."

Torkildson said the piece on homophones was never posted on the school’s blog site but on his personal blog instead.

Readers of his blog gave an outpouring of support.

"Sorry, bro!" a commenter named Jerri wrote. "Some (sum) people have a real (reel) stick up their (there, they’re) [expletive]."

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