Publix stores appear to need a Latin-to-English dictionary. When Jacob Koscinski was declared summa cum laude at this Charleston, S.C., home-schooling program, his mother Cara ordered a cake online from Publix to read “Congrats Jacob! Summa Cum Laude class of 2018.” It is a simple recognition of graduating “with distinction.” However, when it arrived, the store had deleted “Cum” as profanity so that cake read “Summa . . . Laude.” Publix will now receive the distinction of pistrina sine laude, or bakery without distinction.
I recently wrote a piece on why cake shop owners, in cases like the still pending Masterpiece Cakeshop case before the Supreme Court, should have the free speech right to decline to make cakes. That right would reduce the current dangerously ambiguous line where certain refusals are treated as a discrimination while others are treated as protected speech. By recognizing that store owners can decline to prepare cakes deemed offensive, we leave it to the market and public opinion to address those businesses adopting insulting or restrictive or idiotic policies.
In this case, the original message celebrating Koscinski’s 4.89 GPA was returned with a message that said “profane/special characters not allowed.”
Ok. I didn’t want to post but I cannot resist. I ordered Jacob’s graduation cake from Publix. A $70 cake!! He earned a 4.79 GPA. Publix refused to write the words Summa Cum Laude because I was using ‘profanity!’ They put three dashes instead of the word!
How utterly ridiculous and I will be speaking to a manager for a refund. Shame on you Publix for turning an innocent Latin phrase into a total embarrassment for having to explain to my son and others (including my 70 year old mother) about this joke of a cake. My son was humiliated!!! I seriously couldn’t make this crap up!!!!
Funny-not funny. 😡
Edit: The person who picked up the cake on the day of the graduation did not know what I requested to be put on the cake.
This could be a problem of others, particularly academics celebrating accomplishments in their field. To help Publix in the future:
“Congrats On Finally Finding Your Arsole” is actually a celebration of a scientist isolating an arsenic-based organic compound composed of ring-shaped molecules.
“Another Year Of High Albedo” is likely a celebration of climatologists celebrating the high reflectivity of Earth’s surface of solar energy.
“Success In Finding The Sea Puss!”: Oceanographers celebrating their tracking of strong seaward currents.
“Congrats on Your Turdus Maximus”: A cake celebrating an ornithologist sighting a Tibetan blackbird.
“To The Man of the Hour and His Galactic Bulge.” Astronomers celebrating a colleague’s research on the center of a galaxy.