US: Utah language school fires blogger for writing about ‘homophones’

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A social-media strategist at a Utah language learning center claims to have been fired for a blog post about homophones, due to concerns that it would lead the school to be associated with homosexuality.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Tim Torkildson was fired from his job at the Nomen Global Language Center in Provo, Utah, for writing a blog post on the Center’s website about homophones.

A cached version of the post, which has now been deleted, starts by explaining: “In English a homophone is a word that has several different meanings and spellings, but always sounds the same.” It then lists a handful of examples starting with the letter A.

Writing in a post on his own blog, Torkildson described the conversation between himself and his former boss, Clarke Woodger, during which he was let go.

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

He added: “We don’t teach this kind of advanced stuff to our students, and it’s extremely inappropriate.”

Woodger offered Torkildson “a good reference” for his next job, but reportedly said: “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.”

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Woodger claims he fired Torkildson because he would “go off on tangents” in his blog posts.

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