Saying people will think the school is associated with gay sex, the owner of a Utah school that teaches English as a second language was fired from his job as a social media specialist for a blog post he made on homophones. No, not a gay phone, like those in the picture above, but words that sound like another word.
Tim Torkildson told Paul Rolly of the Salt Lake Tribune that shortly after his lesson went up, Nomen Global Language Center owner Clarke Woodger fired him, complaining “now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality.”
“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,” Torkildson said, according to the account he published on his personal blog. “I had to look up the word 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.”
Torkildson’s former employer confirms the incident of homophonia actually happened.
“People at this level of English,” Woodger told the Tribune, “may see the ‘homo’ side and think it has something to do with gay sex.”
Torkildson says that homophones are “one of the first subjects tackled when teaching ESL,” and said his piece about them was very straightforward. Nomen actually still has another blog post on the topic written in 2011.
Torkildson had only worked at Nomen for three months. He is now seeking a new social media job.
People are taking to social media, giving the school bad reviews on such websites as Yelp.