Homophonophobia August 13, 2014


Given that a blogger was actually fired from his job for writing about homophones, it seemed appropriate not only to blog about it but also to share the above cartoon. It predates the incident, and yet seems perfectly designed to poke fun at the ridiculousness and sad irony of someone being fired because of a homophone combined with their employers’ lack of understanding of what homophones are.

"Your dad and mine sound like they had at least one thing in common..."

Jim McGrath In Memoriam
"You certainly can't assume students are appropriating things in the way you want them to. ..."

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  • arcseconds

    I read an account once for someone who got into trouble for using the word ‘pedagogy’. They weren’t fired, but once they explained what it meant, a dictum came around that no employee was to ever use words not in the New Shorter Collins Dictionary Abridged or somesuch.

    At that point they resigned voluntarily.

  • Sean Garrigan

    This reminds me of an episode of Yes Prime Minister where Humphry used the word “niggerdly”, and the PM said (paraphrasing) “I don’t like that word, Humphry”, to which Humphry bemusedly replied “niggerdly?”

    The word has nothing whatsoever to do with the racial slur, btw, but I stopped using it just to avoid potential problems, e.g.:


    • Sean Garrigan

      It would help if I could spell, i.e. it should be “niggardly”, not “niggerdly”.

  • Another unfortunate thing – while I generally agree that decent people will avoid using inflammatory language in order to shock people, it’s hard to be in favor of a speech-code-type environment, if this is going to be the result.

  • R Vogel

    And don’t even think about printing Homo Erectus…….