Strange Man Claims He Was Fired From Learning School For Writing “Homophonic” Blog Post

Tim Torkildson

Let’s journey back to the third grade for a moment and talk about homophones.

A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but has a different meaning, and may have a different spelling, too. For example: see and sea, won and one, or red and read. There are many different homophones in the English language. For a complete list, visit this website.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, a social media specialist for Nomen Global Language Center, a language school in Utah that teaches English to non-native speakers, says he was fired for writing a blog post about homophones because his boss was afraid readers would think it was about gay sex.

Tim Torkildson says after he wrote the blog post, his boss and owner of the learning center, Clarke Woodger, called him into his office and told him he was fired, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. According to Torkildson, Woodger said he could not trust him anymore and that the blog about homophones was the last straw.

“Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality,” he allegedly said. “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.”

Woodger claims the story is untrue and that he fired Torkildson, who was employed at the company for just three months, because he would “go off on tangents” in his blog posts that were be confusing, at times, offensive.

Hmmm. We’re not sure who to believe, but we will say these selfies, which appear to have been taken at work and posted on Torkildson’s Facebook page, speak volumes…






Photo credits: Facebook

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  • Ridpathos

    Doesn’t sound like a fun place to work anyhow. He should get his settlement and take his homophonia to a better place.

  • bobbyjoe

    Instead of any actual investigation (like maybe just seeing if there are any of these supposedly ‘offensive’ blog posts out there or if the guy’s employer can provide any specific examples), let’s just assume he deserves to be fired because he posted a few silly selfies. Because, you know, there’s never been any examples of crazy anti-gay discrimination in Utah. Excellent reporting there, Queerty.

  • DuMaurier


    You’re right, but if this is discrimination it’s crazy even for a anti-gays. I agree that the media (online media, especially) has become horrible about investigative digging and background reporting, but I have a feeling that if any is done in this case the story’s going to turn out to be more complex than either “he’s a weirdo” or “homophobes are going after phonetics now!”

  • DarkZephyr

    Yeah, the Huffington Post reported this story a bit differently than Queerty as chosen to.

  • EdgarCarpenter

    A co-worker who’d taught computer programming in-house at a bank in NYC was almost fired in the late 80’s when he wrote “I’m proud to be a pedagogue in this industry” in an article in the in-house newsletter.

    Yes, it was pompous, but his department manager fired him – when HR finally told him why he was being fired (we don’t employ pedagogues here), he insisted on them finding a dictionary and looking it up – and he kept his job, but was looked at with suspicion after that.

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