I’m sure everyone knows by now that the iPhone “personal assistant” Siri is one sassy robot. Try asking her how old she is, or to make you a sandwich, or to marry you, and she will shoot back with a pithy, often scathing remark.
Being a nerd, my phone settings are in French, and so Siri also speaks French. Why oh why it took me over a year of iPhone ownership to take full advantage of Madame Siri is a mystery to me. Maybe I was afraid she would mock my accent. At any rate, late late one night a few months ago, when I was in the depths of my unemployment suck-fest, I amused myself for a few hours, finally catching up with the rest of the world, and learning some vocab at the same time!
(scroll over or click each photo for English translations in the captions!)
The first thing I noticed is that Siri always uses the formal “vous.” So obviously I asked her to relax and get a bit more informal:
I wouldn’t dare be informal.
I’d prefer to take the time to get to know you better.
I don’t know how to be informal.
If she can’t tutoie me, does she even care about me at all??
“Do you love me?” “I’m not capable of love, Anne.”
“Do you love me?” “You’re looking for love in the wrong place.”
“I love you.” “That’s nice. Can we get back to work now?”
“I love you.” “what else?” “Do you love me?” “I respect you.”
“So who do you love then?” “I’d prefer not to say, Anne.”
Fine. Let’s get to know each other first.
“How old are you?” “That’s quite an indiscrete question, Anne.”
“How much do you weigh?” “First, weigh yourself holding your iPhone, then subtract your weight from that weight. Then write that number on a little scrap of paper and put it under your pillow. Then….wait. Shoot, I forgot the question.”
“What is your favorite animal?” “Why not a tauntaun. But only when I’m cold.”
“What is your favorite animal?” “I wrote my masters thesis on the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.”
“What is your favorite color?” “The color of omniscience.”
“What is your favorite color?” “It depends on the lighting…and my diet.”
“Who is your best friend?” “I give up. (lit. I give my tongue to the cat)”
“Have you ever been in love?” “I’ve never fallen in love. But I have fallen from a desk.”
“Do you have a girlfriend?” “I am omni-relational!” “No, but you can ask me advice for finding pick-up lines.” “I’m more of a free electronic”
She said I could ask for pick-up lines, so….
“You auto-complete me”
“Excuse me, but my cell phone has a big crush on yours and would likes its number…”
“Is your name Bluetooth? Because I’m really feeling a connection.”
“I could tell you weren’t a Muggle.”
What about jokes? Or poetry?
“I’m not funny. You know what they say : Siri who laughs… (play on vache qui rit, or Laughing Cow cheese brand)”
“What’s the difference between an iPhone and…I forget the ending.”
“The best jokes are often vulgar… And I can’t use vulgarities.”
“I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. The poems I write are classed as the fourth most awful thing in the entire universe.”
“If I recite “Ode to the Ball of Green Putty Found Under my Armpit a Pleasant Summer’s Morning,” you might not listen to the entire thing…”
“I’m a very bad orator, Anne.”
She does do haikus though!
“I’m going to try/ Even if I’d rather tell you/ If it’s nice outside.”
“I yield this time/ Haikus frankly beat/ word games.
What I really like to do/ You’re not really worried about/ Except for haikus
And now for the really tough questions: Does Santa Claus Exist? What is the Meaning of Life?
“Does Santa exist?” “Let’s just say that I’m not the only one to know if you’ve been naughty or nice.”
“I’m going to pretend like you didn’t say anything. You wouldn’t want to get a lump of coal this year.”
“What is the meaning of life?” “42”
“Life: condition that distinguishes animals and plants from non-organic material, including the phenomena of growth, reproduction, functional activity and continual change from birth to death.”
“Trying to be kind to your fellow-man, avoiding eating too much fat, reading a good book from time to time, taking walks and trying to coexist in peace and harmony with people of all beliefs and nations.”
“I don’t know. But I think there’s an app for that.”
“I don’t think there’s a consensus on the question.”
“As for me, I cannot answer. Nice play on words, I know!” (play on the philosopher Kant, and the phrase ‘quant à…’)
But Siri got the final laugh in the end. The ultimate sass…
“It’s 4:28AM, time to go to sleep, I’d say…”