Speed Reads


Man says he was fired after blogging about homophones, accused of pushing a 'gay agenda'

A man working for an English language learning center in Utah says he was fired after writing a blog post about homophones, which his boss complained made their school "associated with homosexuality."

Tom Torkildson had worked at the Nomen Global Language Center in Provo for three months when he wrote about homophones — words that sounds the same but have different meanings, like "through" and "threw" and "be" and "bee." Torkildson wanted the English language learners to grasp this concept early on, and although he told The Salt Lake Tribune that he "knew the 'homo' part of the word could be politically charged," he still posted the lesson.

A few days later he says he was fired by his boss and the school's owner, Clarke Woodger. Woodger told the Tribune that he fired Torkildson for going "off on tangents," but he does think the lesson was too complex for anyone just starting to learn English. "People at this level of English...may see the 'homo' side and think it has something to do with gay sex," he said.