With commencement season in full swing, graduates all across the country are earning well-deserved diplomas, and even more well-deserved cake. (I mean what’s the point of finishing school if we don’t get some dessert out of it?) But when honor student Jacob Koscinski received his cake at a graduation celebration, he was a bit more than surprised at its message.

According to a report in the Washington Post, Jacob’s mother, Cara Koscinski, ordered the cake from Publix’s online system and requested the icing read, “Congrats Jacob! Summa Cum Laude Class of 2018.”

But the supermarket chain was weary of one specific “c” letter word and flagged it in its system. In Latin, cum is the preposition “with,” as in summa cum laude, “with the highest distinction;” a common academic honor bestowed on top students. However, the algorithm flagged it, unable to detect the word’s meaning in that context, deeming it profane.

Cara had a feeling that might happen, but she had a back-up plan. In the “special instructions box” listed on the website, she explicitly stated the meaning of the phrase, including a link to the term’s history. She assumed all would go well. She assumed wrong.

In place of “cum,” three hyphens appeared on the cake, reading “Summa ––– Laude.”

Come the big day, Cara’s husband picked up the cake for the party and, wanting to trust in humanity’s basic reading comprehension skills, neither of them checked it before dessert time. Cue major familial embarrassment as the graduate was presented with censored supermarket sheet cake. As a result, grandma even learned a new vocab word.

You can read her entire Facebook post about the incident below:

While Publix did eventually refund the Koscinskis, the entire ordeal is humiliating and just flat out ridiculous. We’ve seen our fair share of cake fails over the years but this one, er, really takes the cake!

Header image courtesy of Facebook user Cara Koscinski.

Jessica is a former Associate Editor at Chowhound. Follow her on Twitter @volume_knob for updates on snacks and cats.
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