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US: Utah language school fires blogger for writing about ‘homophones’

  • Rehan

    Oh good grief. I’m sorry for Torkildson that he lost his job, but really – why would anyone want to work for such a stupid organisation?

    • Philip Marks

      My thoughts exactly. Being fired by that idiot is high praise and Torkildson will be much happier somewhere–almost anywhere else. He should see if he’s got a case to sue of course…

  • Alan Jacobs

    A niggardly act by the company. Wait, can I say that or am I now a racist?

    • Rehan

      Your a funny won – but yew raze a good point. Just think how badly these people must be taut.

    • David Waite

      You can use “niggardly” without anyone but illiterates calling you racist but it is not an accurate description of the firing. I’d say it was anything but niggardly (which means cheap) because it will cost this ‘language school’ plenty. It was a cretinous act.

      • white squirrel

        but niggardly (which means cheap)
        I would argue that niggardly is more accurately
        ‘picky about small petty details’
        so Alan’s usage is succinct

        • David Waite

          My dictionary uses both explanations for “niggardly” and since ‘picky about small petty details’ could only fit if the details were extant (they are not; he was simply incorrect) I went for the other meaning of what was posted as a joke in the first place; it couldn’t have been meant as a succinct statement of fact. I did so as a joke reply to suggest the irony of someone trying to avoid adverse publicity and loss of income but causing what he fears.

  • AndyAS

    Just as well he didn’t write about “Homo Sapiens” or he’d be fired without a good reference ??????????????

    • white squirrel

      of course – Utah would be especially afraid of the word sapiens
      they would likely see it as an attack on thier ID

  • The USA is dying because of this sort of stupidity.

    • anon

      The US is so morally corrupt. I walked into a restaurant once, and people were sitting around masticating. There were even young children present!

      • Michael

        A good joke Anon, but Joseph is right. This kind of stupidity is killing the culture of many Americans – and the same is happening in Africa. How does one fight such ignorance?

  • shabazzarrrr

    Really, a language school fires someone for using the word homophones! Sounds like they did the guy a favour, maybe he will be respected at his next job… Maybe the guy who fired him is a homo himself, didn’t want to be outed…

  • Balance

    D’you believe this idiot boss? Oh, no, I might be sacked now for just saying Jew (d’you).

  • Ad Lib

    *pats back* There, they’re, their… Just think of the vacation he’ll have once he gets his settlement for wrongful dismissal.

  • Gerry

    Sounds like they’re a bit thick in Utah. Inbreeding perhaps?

    • Max Vincent

      All that Mormonism has them running scared of each other.

  • Ad Lib

    What is the difference between a cat and a comma?

    One has claws at the end of its paws. The other has pause at the end of its clause.

    • Emily

      As a crazy cat lady with a degree in linguistics, that joke was almost personally designed for me. Made my day! Thank you!

  • Magpie

    They don’t teach this advanced stuff to their students?!?!?! Homophones are typically a second grade lesson.
    This isn’t so much a matter of will he win the lawsuit. It’s more a matter of how many zeroes are gonna be on the check?

    • Thanks for your sympathy, but here in the USA you can never win a wrongful termination lawsuit. In fact, this was not the most outrageous firing I’ve ever experienced; I was once let go from a radio station in Kansas for wearing a bow tie to work instead of a necktie — the station manager termed it “insubordination.”

      • Alexander Kelso Shiels

        I think you should be in charge of this school, because who ever is, Not Educated at all in fact should be inroled their selves!

      • Philip Marks

        Having had a 40+ year career in management I can say from experience that you are fortunate to not be working for that idiot any longer. Being fired sometimes is a high compliment. This situation qualifies.

        You should consult with an employment law attorney just to be sure — being fired for no cause is different from ‘bad’ cause; being fired for publishing something job related, professionally related, and accurate per policy may actually be covered. He could have fired you for grounds that stand up like “I don’t like him” but if he fired you for actually doing your job professionally…

        • Nathan Merrill

          If he was an at-will employee, he may well be SOL, though a good lawyer might be able to win anyway. Generally speaking, you can only win a case if the dismissal was for illegal reasons or if you’re not an at-will employee.

          This is a borderline case, though.

      • anon

        A bow tie? You sir as a dangerous radical.

      • Michael

        I once wore a very pale blue shirt to work, ( white was the rule ), and I was sent home for the day – with a warning that my job was in jeopardy. When I responded, “I thought my job was ‘here’, not in Jeopardy,” I was given a second warning. That was nearly 50 years ago. It appears some corners of the world have not moved on very much. Go well Tim.

      • Rachel Malkoski

        A bow tie? Homophones? Are you in league with Satan? Or is that Santa? I am sorry your were fired. I wish you better luck in your next job. I fear for this country.

  • Dermot Mac Flannchaidh

    This news was so outrageous it’s drawing a great deal of ridicule even hear in Utah. The learning centre is not going to be associated with homosexuality – it’s going to be associated with boorish ignorance and prejudice, and rightly so.

    • “hear in Utah”? Isn’t that a homophone?

      • Jon (Malaysia)


      • Jon (Malaysia)

        Seriously, good luck to you in your search for future employment. After this publicity I’d wager there will be employers queueing up for your services. I truly hope so, and I’m sure that listeners seeing you on the radio (did I actually say that?) enjoyed the bow tie.

      • Spazmelda Whee

        You don’t even know Dermot! How dare you call him a homophone!

      • Dermot Mac Flannchaidh

        Yes. :D

      • Michael

        A lot of people are rooting for you Tim. Speaking the English language as an Englishman I am of course allowed to use the word rooting, but I once said it, in context, in America and all hell broke out. Dermot is right, the learning centre shot itself in the foot.

  • Rumbelow

    I hope they have also run all the paediatricians out if Utah and closed all paediatrics clinics in the hospitals too.

    • lord thorpe

      Right on brother and all those hospitals that practice homeopathy, vile creatures!

      • anon

        To be fair, that one is true.

  • Alexander Kelso Shiels

    It seems even the people who are supposed to educate our youth, are not educated themselves. Where oh where do these people come from “another planet”. are they even human?

    • Phoenixknight

      Well, heer in Yewtah, we don’ believe in that there fancy edumication. All that dose is brainwash the young ins into that dangerous critical thinking we keeps being warned about!

      (God that was painful for the author in me to write.)

      • Rachel Malkoski

        Painful perhaps, but well done, and funny. :)

  • Jeff Levy

    /// According to Torkildson, Woodger told him: “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.”

    He added: “We don’t teach this kind of advanced stuff to our students, and it’s extremely inappropriate.”//

    Sounds like Woodger needs to be fired this school doesn’t teach English???

    and Woodger doesn’t even know how to use a dictionary for words he is too damn ignorant to know….

    NO Woodger now your school is gong to be associated with a DUMBASS in charge one who doesn’t even know the English Language or how to use a damn Dictionary..

    also Torkildson needs to sue the hell out of this school….

  • Nathan Merrill

    Utah needs to ban the LDS, as it might get confused for LSD.

    • Lee Siegel

      No confusion: You take the latter on a cube of sugar and the former with a grain of salt. However, the former is far more hallucination-inducing.

  • Daniel Howard

    Well day don’t seam too get thee idea of homophones, due day? Eye mean watt planet r day living awn? Sum people r lost linguistically and mentally. ;)

    • anon

      Nice parody, but no worse than most facebook messages.

  • Lish Lash

    Checked twice to make sure this wasn’t satire.

  • Sean Knight

    How can a reference from such an idiot be called “a good reference”? I would print out all the news articles about this and bring them to an interview instead of any such reference, just to show that I was fired due to the boss’s stupidity, not due to anything wrong that I had done. That would be more helpful. Let’s hope a good school where they actually teach people will pick Mr Torkildson up straight away. Perhaps he should be appointed the head of English language teaching next time.

  • Jon (Malaysia)

    I used to think that Bernard Shaw’s “American and England are 2 countries divided by a common language” quite clever. Now it seems that America itself is divided by its own common language. Sad and rather pathetic. And pity the poor students that attend that school trusting they are being taught proper English.

    • white squirrel

      its not a common language America is divided over
      its writing
      speciifically over which written text should be taught in schools

  • If you want to read my original blog about this shenanigan, it’s here:

    • Atheist transwoman

      your blog contains the statement
      ‘This blog about homophones was the last straw.’
      ‘last straw’, suggests other straws, hinting at an ongoing conflict with previous differences of opinion over something
      I doupt its becuase Tim is gay – or he would not have got the job in the first place
      maybe its something worse than gay in Mormon opinion – Atheism

  • glad not taught in USA

    ‘this kind of advanced stuff ‘

    UK NC guidlines
    A quick introductory, starter or trouble-shooting resource, focusing on homophones. Students identify a range of homophones and practise using them in full sentences.
    Published: 27/01/2014
    KS3 KS4 |
    Key Stage 3 normally known as Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9,
    when pupils are aged between 11 and 14.

    ‘We don’t teach this kind of advanced stuff to our students’
    11 to 14
    only in America
    th joyz ov hom skoolng

    • Diane Keller

      So true; a few years ago I attended the celebration for a young man who had just graduated high school..with honors. I seemed to be the only one who noticed that his grandmother had to help him read the greeting cards he got; or at least I seemed to be the only one who was bothered by it. How do you graduate from high school with HONORS if you can’t even read a greeting card??

      • white squirrel

        depends on the subject
        might have been art or music or mathematics which at least in theory dont necessarily require an ability to read
        or it might just have been a ‘diploma in creation ‘science’ [sic] which requires no brain function or reasoning at all [ as it uses long dead ancestors to think for you]

  • white squirrel

    ‘Mormon’ a homophone of ‘moron’

  • white squirrel

    Americans are already giving their opinion of this ‘skool’

    a gem from the language ‘school’ reveiw site =

    I wanted to refer a friend to Nomen Global Language Centers, so I called them up to make sure I had the right sexuality number. The person who answered was very rude. “What the heck is a sexuality number?” I explained that its the number you dial into your telesex to talk to them. The person replied, “Do you mean phone number, you idiot?” I told them that, according to the president of their school, “phone” and “sexuality” had the same meaning, but this was met with just more rudeness. I suggest choosing a school with better sex attendants.

  • Riondo

    Reminds me of the local councillor who was outraged by anonymous allegations made against him and promised dire consequences when the identity of the alligator were discovered.

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