Tim Torkildson, a social media specialist, was taken by surprise when he was fired last week. Why? Because he blogged about homophones on his employer’s website and his boss thought the school is “going to be associated with homosexuality“.
Homophones are word that are pronounced the same but differ in meaning, and sometimes in spelling – a bit like “hear” and “here” or “bare” and “bear” or “write” and “right”. Oh the English language!
But his workplace confused his piece on homophones with homophobia. Tim’s boss said: “This blog about homophones was the last straw. Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality.”
“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.”
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Oh by the way, Tim’s ex-employer is an American English language school called Nomen Global Language Center. Downtime is worried about its TOEFL students now.
The school went on to delete Tim’s homophones blog post from its website.
Tim, who was too stunned to justify himself to his boss, just published the whole conversation between him and the boss on his personal blog and on Facebook.
“I’m not trying to judge or destroy my former boss — I just want enough publicity so someone out there will give me work!” he says on Facebook.