July 31, 2014

About that school blogger fired for writing about homophones (which sounds like "homophobes").

Volokh Conspiracy writer Dale Carpenter links to a story in the Salt Lake Tribune:
[W]hen 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.
I don't see how we are supposed to understand the school's reaction without seeing what the blogger actually wrote. It was the school's own website, and if the blogger fooled around with the similarity between the words "homophone" and "homophobe," it might be too edgy for an official website.

ADDED: If this is, in fact, the blog post in question and the ground for firing the blogger, then the school really does look terrible. It's a totally innocuous post, devoid of any playfulness about the similarity between the word "homophone" and anything having to do with homosexuality.

21 comments:

Lance said...

Don't expect the Salt Lake Tribune to trip over itself providing any new detail. Also don't expect them to pass up any opportunity, no matter how small, to portray someone as a bigot.

Phil 3:14 said...

Go to the original Salt Lake Journal article. Apparently he was fired for PROMOTING a gay agenda.

Another official niggardly in his patience.

(PS. As a physician I've learned the key to success is patients.)

Ann Althouse said...

"Go to the original Salt Lake Journal article. Apparently he was fired for PROMOTING a gay agenda."

That's not a very good interpretation of the article, and I stand by every word of my post.

Ambrose said...

Their is something wrong about that.

AustinRoth said...

Ann - I think you misread Phil's snark.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann - I think you misread Phil's snark."

You'll have to explain what you think I misread. My point is that we haven't seen the blog post in question and it's not available at or via the linked news article.

I can see that Phil has some additional jokes if that is your point. I wasn't addressing those.

St. George said...

Brilliant piece from Mad Magazine from 1970 in the form of a mock campaign speech...

"My fellow citizens, it is an honor and a pleasure to be here today. My opponent has openly admitted he feels an affinity toward your city, but I happen to like this area. It might be a salubrious place to him, but to me it is one of the nation's most delightful garden spots.

When I embarked upon this political campaign I hoped that it could be conducted on a high level and that my opponent would be willing to stick to the issues. Unfortunately, he has decided to be tractable instead -- to indulge in unequivocal language, to eschew the use of outright lies in his speeches, and even to make repeated veracious statements about me.

At first, I tried to ignore these scrupulous, unvarnished fidelities. Now I do so no longer. If my opponent wants a fight, he's going to get one !

....

St. George said...

...It might be instructive to start with his background. My friends, have you ever accidentally dislodged a rock on the ground and seen what was underneath ? Well, exploring my opponent's background is dissimilar. All the slime and filth and corruption you could possibly imagine, even in your wildest dreams, are glaringly nonexistent in this man's life. And even during his childhood !

Let us take a very quick look at that childhood: It is a known fact that, on a number of occasions, he emulated older boys at a certain playground. It is also known that his parents not only permitted him to masticate excessively in their presence, but even urged him to do so. Most explicable of all, this man who poses as a paragon of virtue exacerbated his own sister while they were both teenagers !

I ask you, my fellow Americans: is this the kind of person we want in public office to set an example for our youth ? Of course, it's not surprising that he should have such a typically pristine background -- no, not when you consider the other members of his family:

His female relatives put on a constant pose of purity and innocence, and claim they are inscrutable, yet every one of them has taken part in hortatory activities
The men in the family are likewise completely amenable to moral suasion
My opponent's second cousin is a Mormon
His uncle was a flagrant heterosexual
His sister, who has always been obsessed by sects, once worked as a proselyte outside a church
His father was secretly chagrined at least a dozen times by matters of a pecuniary nature
His youngest brother wrote an essay extolling the virtues of being a homosapien
His great-aunt expired from a degenerative disease
His nephew subscribes to a phonographic magazine
His wife was a thespian before their marriage and even performed the act in front of paying customers
And his own mother had to resign from a women's organization in her later years because she was an admitted sexagenarian
Now what shall we say of the man himself ?

I can tell you in solemn truth that he is the very antithesis of political radicalism, economic irresponsibility, and personal depravity. His own record proves that he has frequently discountenanced treasonable, un-American philosophies and has perpetrated many overt acts as well.

He perambulated his infant son on the street
He practiced nepotism with his uncle and first cousin
He attempted to interest a 13-year-old girl in philately
He participated in a seance at a private residence where, among other odd goings-on, there was incense
He has declared himself in favor of more homogeneity on college campuses
He has advocated social intercourse in mixed company -- and has taken part in such gatherings himself
He has been deliberately averse to crime in our streets
He has urged our Protestant and Jewish citizens to develop more catholic tastes
Last summer he committed a piscatorial act on a boat that was flying the American flag
Finally, at a time when we must be on our guard against all foreign "isms", he has coolly announced his belief in altruism -- and his fervent hope that some day this entire nation will be altruistic !
I beg you, my friends, to oppose this man whose life and work and ideas are so openly and avowedly compatible with our American way of life. A vote for him would be a vote for the perpetuation of everything we hold dear.

The facts are clear; the record speaks for itself.

Do your duty."

Andrew Koenig said...

So he was fired because "homophone" is nearly a homophone?

Hagar said...

There is no such thing as a language without homophones.

I think Mr. Woodger had been looking for an excuse to fire Tim Torkildson and found one. It was personal and not about the blog post.

tim in vermont said...

I saw some thespians masticating in a public restaurant not too long ago.

traditionalguy said...

What's the surprise? The new verbal purity laws are looking to sacrifice any man that admits gays and women are categories.

Remember, All Are The Same As All Others, or else.

southcentralpa said...

In what Universe? HA-mah-fones vs. HO-mo-fobes

Maybe it's a reigonalism, but in this part of the country they don't sound a thing alike...

(Let's call the whole thing off ...)

Jason said...

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:kvBQPW_wGYEJ:nomenglobaltoday.blogspot.com/2014/07/help-with-homophones-1.html+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us Here's the cache version.

I was skeptical, like Ann, at first. But reading the cache version, the employer is clearly an idiot.

And Nomen is getting DESTROYED on Yelp!

Carol said...

Huh. When I was in school they were called homonyms.

Sam L. said...

Some people are so stupid and ignorant--and they're IN OUR SCHOOLS!

Did he try to phone a homo with a homophone? Inquiring minds want, no NEED, to know!

Smilin' Jack said...

According to their mission statement, this "English language learning center" "substantially helps" students "obtain goals" and "increase skills." I suspect the distinction between "homophone" and "homophobe" is well beyond their grasp.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Smilin Jack has it right. Why be surprised when stupid people behave like stupid people?
Best comment on the Nomen site:
"Theirs know weigh this is reel."

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

He could ask the school to renege.

Anonymous said...

And THIS is the type of school the Wisconsin GOP wants to use taxpayer money to help fund via vouchers?!





Scott McClare said...

Carol said: "Huh. When I was in school they were called homonyms."

That's something different. Homonyms are words that are spelled the same, but have different pronunciations and meanings: for example, close, as in, "Please close the door" vs. "That was close!"

Homophones are words that sound the same, but are spelled differently: for example, through vs. threw.