This is just ridiculous, but it shows, painfully clearly, why language and being educated about language, matters.
The social media specialist for a language school was fired for writing a blog post about homophones (words that sound the same but aren’t), because the owner presumed–or thought others would presume?–the post was about gay sex.
Seriously, I can’t believe this happened (here’s the original story). Take a second to let that soak in:
- School that focuses on language for non-native speakers
- Has blog post about a basic issue that non-native speakers encounter when learning language
- But the name for that issue is vaguely, distantly related to a different word
- Causing the owner–who had to look up the definition–to fire the blog writer.
The fire-er actually said, “People at this level of English may see the ‘homo’ side and think it has something to do with gay sex.”
I mean, of course they would! It’s not like they have a language school they can attend where they can learn these things!
Just for our brilliant language school owner’s edification, some common homophones include:
- their, there, they’re
- threw, through, thru
- mourning, morning
- air, err, heir, are* (in some dialects)
- flee, flea
- flew, flu
- rain, reign, rein
Also, some other words that begin with “homo-” but have nothing at all to do with gay sex (plus definitions!):
- homogeneous: having the same structure, being composed of similar parts
- homologous: matching in structure
- homocysteine: an amino acid found in the blood of mammals and appears to be associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease
- homoiothermic: warm-blooded
- homocercal: relating to a fish fin, having upper and lower lobes that are approximately symmetrical
- Homo sapiens: mankind, human beings (that’s right sir, you are indeed Homo!)
This is just one of the many reasons learning the ins-and-outs of your language is so vital—so that you don’t make a fool of yourself on a national stage like this school-owner just did. I hope the blogger finds a new job swiftly; it will undoubtedly be an environment more open to actual learning!