This post from Language Log’s Mark Liberman has me vigorously shaking my head. Quoting Paul Rolly of the Salt Lake Tribune:
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.
Of course, Liberman’s final sentence is the one that really has me worried:
Since intelligent people are not a protected group under U.S. employment law, Mr. Woodger was apparently on solid legal ground in firing Torkildson.