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This Teen Graduated "Summa Cum Laude," But Publix Refused To Write "Cum" On A Cake Because Y'all Are Dirty

This is why we can't have nice things.

Last updated on May 22, 2018, at 2:49 p.m. ET

Posted on May 22, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. ET

This is 18-year-old Jacob Koscinski from Charleston, South Carolina.

Hannah Lane / Supplied

Jacob recently graduated from a Christian homeschooling program, which saw him take a number of honor classes at local schools. He finished with an amazing 4.79 GPA.

Hannah Lane / Supplied

To celebrate his achievement, mom Cara organized a big graduation party Saturday to follow the school association's ceremony.

Cara Koscinski

On Thursday, she went to the website for her local Publix supermarket and purchased a special $70 graduation-themed cake.

Publix

But there was one problem: the Publix online ordering system didn't like the word "cum" on the cake — as in, "summa cum laude."

Publix

For those of you with filthy minds, in Latin, "cum" means "with." The academic phrase "summa cum laude" means "with the highest distinction."

Alex E. Proimos / CC / Via Flickr: proimos

When Cara tried to write "cum" online, it was replaced with a dash by the Publix website, so she left a message in the Special Instructions explaining the Latin phrase. "The system is mistaking the word 'cum' for something inappropriate vs. Latin," she wrote.

Cara Koscinski

And yet when her husband picked up the cake on Saturday, the "cum" had once again been censored. "We stared at the cake and it was shocking," Cara told BuzzFeed News. "We had no idea it was going to say dot dot dot."

Cara Koscinski

"Of course, my poor mother is in her 70s and had no idea what that word meant," she said.

And so it fell upon Jacob to have a very awkward conversation with his grandmother about the other meaning of the word "cum."

"I tried to break down what the word meant and she was open-mouthed the entire time," Jacob said. "I had this humiliated look on my face."

"It was a really funny experience to have," he said.

Cara telephoned the store to speak with a manager, who she said didn't understand the Latin meaning of the word either. "He said, 'You have to understand I get all these ignorant requests for cakes,'" she told BuzzFeed News.

“Satisfying our customers is our top priority," a Publix spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. "You can feel confident that this situation has been addressed, and the appropriate business areas and leaders are involved."
Cara Koscinski

“Satisfying our customers is our top priority," a Publix spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. "You can feel confident that this situation has been addressed, and the appropriate business areas and leaders are involved."

Cara posted about the cake drama on Facebook, where her post was shared hundreds of times and soon drew the attention of local, and then national, media.

"We're laughing because we did not expect the whole graduation to be talked about this way," she said.

The cum-fusion caused a bit of a ~mess~ on social media.

@washingtonpost I can’t stop laughing about this story. This made my day.

@yashar I can't stop laughing! This feels like something @TheOnion would write, on a slow day 😂

People tried to pick sides.

i’m simultaneously publix, son, & mom

Some wondered what the confused Publix employees might have been thinking.

@yashar Shorter Publix: "Now, what I want to know is who is this 'Summa' & why can't she just cum quietly now and then?"

While others saw this as a chance to get into some trouble.

@Juanldwfa I'm gonna go to Publix and ask them to write ONLY cum on a cake for me

The Koscinskis did end up getting a full refund from Publix and they're now able to laugh about the whole thing. "We're Christian homeschoolers, but we're not stupid," Cara said. "We think it's funny."

The cake also proved to be a big hit at the party, with Jacob's friends crowding around to snap pictures. "Nobody wanted to eat those words," Cara said. "Everybody wanted to save them."
Cara Koscinski

The cake also proved to be a big hit at the party, with Jacob's friends crowding around to snap pictures.

"Nobody wanted to eat those words," Cara said. "Everybody wanted to save them."

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