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Elliot: The Stone Age encore

BY BEAU ELLIOT | AUGUST 05, 2014 5:00 AM

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So I see that the University of Iowa, that august institution (it even has a month named after it) is no longer the No. 1 party school in the nation.

(Much gnashing of teeth.)

So this fall, when you say, Where’s the party?, you’ll be met with blank looks. (Which are not to be confused with Blank Honors Center looks. They’re two entirely different species, like Homo sapiens and petunias. That is not an anti-petunia statement. Nor is it an anti-flour statement, to use a homophone — risky, I know.)

Speaking of homophones — and no, wise guy, that’s not a smart phone designed for gays. Go find a party. Just try to in this town.

Meanwhile, back at homophones, we all know what they are: words that sound the same but have different spellings and quite different meanings, such as “flower” and “flour.” We all learned this in elementary school or at least middle school.

Apparently not in Utah. Recently, an English-language teacher in Provo, Utah, was fired, it seems, for writing an explanation of homophones on his blog.

No, really. According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, English teacher Tim Torkildson was fired from his job at the Nomen Global Language Center for describing homophones for those whose native language is not English (homophones can be quite tricky; think about which which is witch for a while, or even for a wile).

As Torkildson tells it, he was let go for promoting a “gay” agenda.

Um, yeah.

Well, Utah, welcome to the 19th century. We were hoping you’d make it.

What, if I may ask, do you think about the term Homo sapiens?

Meanwhile, back at the Stone Age, not that we (apparently) ever left, House Republicans “worked” for 16 days in July. Anybody remember anything they did? Me, neither. Oh, they voted to sue President Obama for doing something by executive order that they wanted done in the first place, something having to do with a deadline for businesses and Obamacare.

Why did they sue, you ask, if that’s what Republicans wanted in the first place?

Well, because they’re Stone Age conservatives, with Stone Age ideas, which are not the same as real ideas. The GOP is still fashioning “ideas” by chipping away at flint. The problem with Obama doing what they want is that, because Obama did it, they no longer want to do it anymore, even though it was their idea.

But isn’t that counterintuitive? you say.

“Counterintuitive” is the word of the day (there’s no homophone for that, much to the delight of Utah), the hour, the week, and, for that matter, all the years of the Obama presidency when it comes to Republicans. Take, for instance, the very beginning of Obama’s presidency. Under the George W. Bush administration, five Republican senators had sponsored a bill to establish a bipartisan commission to deal with the federal debt. When Obama took over, he said that’s a great idea, so he proposed it. The idea died in the Senate, with all five Republican authors of the proposal, including Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snow, both of Maine, voting against their own idea, just because Obama backed it. That has been the message of Republicans on Obama from the very beginning.

Couldn’t we just go back to homophones? you say. That seemed so much simpler.

You’re right. Or your right. Whatever.

Excuse me; I have a call on my hetero-phone.


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