Tim Torkildson, a social media specialist and English as a Second Language teacher at Utah’s Nomen Global Language Center wrote what he thought was a typicially innocuous blog entry a few weeks back on the subjects of homophones–which we called homonyms when I was in school. If you remember elementary school, homophones are those pesky and confusing words that sound the same but mean very different things, like “do” and “due” or “mary,” “merry,” and “marry” just to name a few. For students learning English, particularly ESL students, homophones pose a significant obstacle to comprehension.
Imagine Torkildson’s surprise, then, to find himself fired by Dumb Ass Hall of Fame Nominee and Nomen owner Clarke Woodger, who asserted, “now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality.”
Cursory research suggests this story is not a hoax, though it sure sounds like one. Although Nomen has removed the “controversial” (giggle, giggle) post, it is still available on Google Cache. See what all the fuss is about
That’s right, Woodger was worried that people would think that his school supported homosexuality. “I had to look up the word” Woodger said, according to Torkildson’s account on his personal blog, “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.”
As with the best of this kind of stuff, it’s too funny–in a really sad, embarrassing-for-all-us way–to be made up. Sort of just makes me want to say “look at us, world, this is America, aren’t we great?” Sigh.