Language School's Blogger Fired For Writing A Post On Homophones; Director Fears Association With 'Gay Sex'
from the not-a-hoax dept
Let's say you're a company and you hired a social media expert to run your social media and blogging tasks. Now let's say you want to fire that person. You need a decent reason, right? Maybe your company is just going through layoffs and that job happens to fall under the ax (though, make sure you get control of your Twitter account before dropping the blade). Or maybe your "expert" ran a tweet/response campaign that backfired as badly as it possibly could. Those are good reasons to fire your social media and blogging guy.
What's a poor reason for firing that person? How about: Well, we thought the person's post about homophones for our language school's blog might make people think we're all gay and whatnot? Yeah, that pretty much covers it.
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.Now, I know what you're thinking: that didn't f#&$ing happen. Well, au contraire, bonjour, it sure as hell did happen. A school entirely built to teach the English language to non-English speaking immigrants in Utah fired a guy for blogging about homophones. And, just so we're clear, homophones are not telephones run by the homosexual-ati as a hotline designed to disrupt the traditional family values of 'Merica. No, homophones are words that sound alike but have different definitions, like "I" and "eye."
Torkildson's account includes some eyebrow-raising quotes of Woodger claiming not to know what homophones were, claiming that they don't teach that kind of "advanced" language study to their English language students, and worrying that the post would associate the school with homosexuality for reasons uknown to this writer. Woodger's account is different, but vaguely not so different.
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...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.Er, so yeah. It had nothing to do with homosexuality, except it has something to do with tangents and being offensive, and they don't teach the concept of homophones to English students because it's so advanced. I'd ask you to hazard a guess what the tangents and "offensive" stuff were in these damned language posts, but you've already probably guessed correctly.
Regardless, if homophones associate a language school with homosexuality, then I guess all of us Homo sapiens are at least a little gay. Right?