From the you-can’t-make-it-up-department in Provo, Utah:
Homophones, as any English grammarian can tell you, are words that sound the same but have different meanings and often different spellings — such as be and bee, through and threw, which and witch, their and there. This concept is taught early on to foreign students learning English because it can be confusing to someone whose native language does not have that feature. But when the social-media specialist for a private Provo-based English language learning center wrote a blog explaining homophones, he was let go for creating the perception that the school promoted a gay agenda. Tim Torkildson says after he wrote the blog on the website of his employer, Nomen Global Language Center, his boss and Nomen owner Clarke Woodger, called him into his office and told him he was fired. As Torkildson tells it, Woodger said he could not trust him and that the blog about homophones was the last straw. “Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality,” Woodger complained, according to Torkildson, who posted the exchange on his Facebook page.
The school has denied the teacher’s claim of homophonia – but has also deleted his post from its website. Their clunky mission statement could use some work: “Nomen Global Language Centers substantially helps students from all
cultures and walks of life to excel in each aspect of their English
acquisition and to obtain their goals for the future. We achieve this
goal by means of qualified and experienced faculty, dedicated staff,
engaging and challenging curriculum, and professional and ethical
student services.” (Tipped by JMG reader Joseph)