Summa — Laude: Publix censors overly erudite graduation cake

Summa — Laude: Publix censors overly erudite graduation cake
Profanity police go ancient on graduate's celebration cake. (Image: Screen grab of ABC4 WCIV video)

One thing they’re not, at your friendly local Publix supermarket and bakery, is Latin scholars.

The Koscinski family of West Ashley, SC, have an honors graduate on their hands in young Jacob Koscinski.  With a 4.89 GPA, home-schooled Jacob is headed for a pre-med major and a bright future.

He was, naturally, designated a “Summa cum laude” graduate by his home-school program.  His mother wanted to celebrate that on the graduation cake ordered from a nearby Publix bakery.

Publix advised her that “profanity” is not allowed in their cake decorations.  Cara Koscinski obligingly provided them a website reference to confirm that “cum” is Latin for the preposition “with.” (“Summa cum laude” means “with highest honor.”)

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Publix nevertheless erred on the side of caution, and used dashes to stand in for the offending syllable.  Mr. Koscinski père picked up the cake, unaware of the drama’s toll to date, and it was a surprise to everyone when the lid was pulled back.

It created a bit of a moment for the graduate:

“The cake experience was kind of frustrating and humiliating because I had to explain to my friends and family like what that meant. And they were giggling uncontrollably. At least my friends were,” said Jacob Koscinski.

Publix reportedly refunded the Koscinski family the price of the cake.  The store also failed to respond to questions from ABC4.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.