back to article Apple’s Siri gets sweary with British child

The mother of a 10-year-old boy in Coventry has been expressing her shock after a demonstration model of Apple’s iPhone 4S swore at her son. Kim Le Quesne told the Coventry Telegraph that her son Charlie was out shopping with his father in a local branch of Tesco, saw the handset in a display and asked the Siri personal …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The phone replied by tellin... him to “Shut the f*** up, you ugly t***.”

    “The phone read my mind,” Mrs Le Quesne said.

  2. mark 63 Silver badge


    great idea!

    I'm gonna do that next time my mates leave their phones on the pub table when out smoking.

    Although they dont do it that much these days cos their alarms tend to go off at 3.00 am

    1. Mad Hacker
      Thumb Down

      Seems like a passcode would stop that...

      Of course, if you are with friends you would think that wasn't necessary.

      1. admiraljkb

        @Mad Hacker

        Ummm, your friends must be tamer than mine. The pranksters I hang out with would do this in a heartbeat because I AM their friend. They would not however pull something like that intentionally on a stranger like what was done here.

        But an unprotected phone in a shop? Lax info security policy...

  3. StrictlySocial
    Thumb Up


    Might finally a reason for me to get an iPhone. How do I get it to say that to the missus?

    1. carter brandon

      You need a phone to say it? Coward! ;)

    2. BrentRBrian

      ... even more curious ...

      what the missus would say BACK.

      1. ravenviz

        ... even more curiouserer ...

        What about two Siri's talking to each other?!

  4. Darryl


    Finally, a 21st century version of 10 PRINT 'Fuck Off'.... 20 GOTO 10

    Got a good laugh from this one. Now I'm sitting here wondering if I should revert back to my adolescent days and go mess with display iPhones...


    1. CheesyTheClown

      I was looking for that

      I'm wondering how many iPhones are about to be "Updated" in the stores.

      Best thing is.. this was in the UK where people are pretty understanding. In the U.S., I can imagine all the law suits about to turn up.

      I think it's about time that Apple allows people to set a password for things like that haha

  5. Tom 35

    Some one got tired

    of changing all the windows screen savers to say "Tesco sucks" with a password I guess.

  6. Graham Marsden

    Many years ago...

    ... local computer shops would have demo programs which would ask you to input your name. Naturally nobody would think of inputting the name "Idiot" in and then scrolling the page so "press enter" was the only bit visible such that when enter was pressed, the presser would be greeted with "Hello Idiot!"

    And certainly nobody would edit the list of words in a Basic Hangman program to add a fine selection of obscenities either...!

    1. LaeMing

      I only did it to my own machine,

      but having just acquired a copy of ResEdit for my MacLC, the hostess in the game "Wheel of Fortune" first lost most of her clothes, then aquired a rarther large wardrobe of sleazy outfits, then became male. There were two bitmaps - one at rest, and one smiling and waving (swapped in when you won a turn). Lets just say my final version of the nude male host wasn't waving his arm (though he certainly was smiling a lot)!

  7. zen1

    oh the humor of it all.

    I would LOVE to have a phone like that!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ask the fine commentard LarsG for his, you'll be doing him a favour.

  8. toughluck

    How much are they suing for?

    It misses on the most important detail -- how high do they rate their moral losses and how much do they want from Tesco/Apple/world+dog?

    Mine's the one with the disclaimer not to use as parachute on the tag.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No doubt she's already been in touch with the Compensayshun Lawyers...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But of course

      Definitely compo, they're tesco shoppers

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That used to link the keyboard chip to the sound chip on a BBC model B. Made any further typing a sonic experience. Time of course to leave the Dixons.

  11. Number6


    Can I get that as a ringtone?

  12. Tchou

    A brand new kind of joke(mal)ware is born.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Can Someone Think About the Children ?

    Let's ban everything the Matronic Alliance does not like.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Oh well, it shows the sort of people who shop there.

    My local one if full of Chavs & Squaddies swearing 16 to the dozen so this does not surprise me in the least.

  15. Anonymous John

    There's a photo of the family on the Daily Mail website, and the phone does seem to be correct.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      AC ...

      ... you just made me laugh out loud! I am getting very strange looks from people - it isn't usual for any laughter to be heard here ...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    well, they got off bloody lightly

    ...if they went running to the Daily Heil. I've a few more words for them....

  17. LarsG

    I ASKED SIRI.....

    What her favorite food was, a voice replied, "f*****g w****r'

    It wasn't Siri, it was the guy standing behind me in the queue.

    Deserved, how I hate my works phone.

    1. ravenviz

      Are you Rude Kid's mother?

  18. Visible Otters

    We seem to have reached the point...

    ... where the press are more interested in "An electronic device called my child a c**t" stories than in "A footballer ****ed my c**t" stories. Not sure whether this represents progress or the nadir of Western civilization.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call me "Shut the fuck up you ugly twat."

    Not much of a hack, is it?

  20. Steve Evans


    Apple store here I come!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the t*** word that can't be printed?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

  22. Simon Harris

    I have a Minolta Xg camera that let you record your own shutter sound.

    For a lark I got mine to say 'Paedo' every time I took a picture.

    Then a girl friend was going on holiday and wanted to borrow a camera. Two days later I got a text asking 'Why does the camera keep saying paedo?' - oops, guess I forgot to reset the sounds!

    1. DryBones


    2. Shades

      It shouldn't be...

      ...that funny, but I've just had tears streaming down my face imagining it! Bravo!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Confirms the user base

    No real surprise that an uncultivated lot are big users.

  24. Eddy Ito


    Which word didn't she understand?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So... these apparently-cloned suburban housewives really think that Apple said, "Hey, it'd be a great idea to have our phones fling obscene invective at people who ask innocuous questions! Yeah! Now, if only we could find a way for it to punch the user in the face when they place a call..."

    I mean, really? Why are they never asked anything aside from, "Exactly how enraged -are- you, Mrs. Stockcuffer?" OK, I know that one, but geez, I'd really like to know how they think this happened and who did it...

    In this case at least it seems that Mrs. Gobknoblin is blaming Tesco for their ignoring the issue, rather than accusing them of having a foul plot to create an army of superchavs by teaching young children what a curse sounds like without the children knowing that the words are supposed to be curses (if they already know, then presumably the ship has already sailed).

    Also, am I the only one who's thinking about ncurses now? :/

  26. John Tserkezis

    Glad to see it still happens...

    Back in the days when DOS was prime, and windows software was in the up-and-coming stage, I was testing some corporate windows (win16) software.

    Under normal conditions, windows was run in the autoexec.bat, but I tried running the windows software under a DOS prompt anyway (I was bored and had time on my hands, so sue me).

    Where I was expecting the standard "this is a windows program" message (forgive me for paraphrasing, this was a long time ago), instead, it went along the lines of "this is not DOS software you fucking moron".

    While this may have been acceptable for shareware of the time, it wouldn't cut it for corporates on the off chance they want to have a "play" with their computer. These guys pay a rediculous amount of money for the software, and bucketloads more for the data feed. No really, the fees are just plain fucking scary. So no, callilng them fucking morons was not on, these guys have heavy duty lawers on the payroll for normal day to day work, so taking us to the cleaners for a "funny" statement would have been a breakfast snack to them.

    I did report the "bug" to management. I suppose the programmer responsible who thought it was funny at the time, would still have a sore arse today. Whoever it was, sorry dude, but I can't let something like that slide. No matter how funny *I* found it. :-)

    1. J. R. Hartley

      you cunt

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes he can.

    2. JimC

      Ah memories...

      I used to have a special version of with a whole bunch of the messages changed... Ah, what sweet naive innocent entertainmants we had back then [fx nostalgic glow]. Later on we moved on to the delights of customised Windows shells. What happened to those carefee days of youth?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        I hacked up on my 286, back when I was, what, 12 or so... only problem was that one time I accidentally saved it with CRLFs and didn't notice. Hellooo, file system with 47,000 lost clusters! And that's a lot on a 40mb drive.

        Still kickin' myself over that one. Luckily, my copy of Duke Nukem was on the other drive.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        I remember a mate telling me that he and a colleague were developing a system and had become bored with the error messages while testing it. To relieve the tedium they played silly B's with the error message data table, with an incentive of free beer for the one making the other laugh out loud in the office. A rich vein of comedic material was supplied by the fact that the client was a Merchant Banker.

        Their boss learned the value of checking with the developers before demoing the unfinished system to the client the hard way......

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "client was a Merchant Banker"

          Cockney rhyming slang?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ...I remember wiping about 30 - 40 Win95 machines in a Byte superstore once.

      Amazing what you can do in an autoexec.bat. Ahh deltree, how we loved you.

      Still they learnt about Screensaver passwords quickly.

      And about 3 weeks later, they learn't how pointless they were on Win95 machines.


      well I've worked for the original parent company for about 14 years now.

  27. casinowilhelm
    Thumb Up


    great, that's another level to add to my new iphone game "compo hunter". So far I just got the "trip over pavement cracks and sue the council" and "spill coffee on yourself in mcdonalds" levels done, this would make an ideal bonus round. Might leave it running on phones in tesco.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Another outing for the "spill coffee on yourself" ignorant rant from Daily Mail-type correspondents.

    2. lpopman

      titular thingy

      @casinowilhelm: "So far I just got the "trip over pavement cracks and sue the council""

      hehe, I'm from the town in question and when I was 8 yrs old (32 yrs ago to be precise) , I stumbled on a loose paving slab. Lost my front teeth becasue of it. My parents never dreamed of suing the council. A strongly worded letter later (no legal threats or anything), and the slab was fixed along with many others.

  28. Winkypop Silver badge

    Sent away for analysis...

    Haven't they got an app for that?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Foul mouthed Siri

    I went into a large store and had a look and ALL the phones had funny names. I think the best one was a russian name 'Ivana Pizkwick'!

    Loved it! Whats the best you have seen?

    1. lpopman

      titular memories

      I recall an episode of Chris Morris's radio show, where his Wayne Carr character got someone at heathrow to call for Anita Peacekwick and Mylexa Croist across the tannoy :)

  30. Anonymous Noel Coward

    >“It’s verbal abuse,” Mrs Le Quesne said.

    Oh, shut the fuck up, you joyless bitch.

    1. John Bailey

      Question is..

      Was the kid shocked at the language, or scared because Siri knew his name?

  31. lpopman

    titular wankery

    "shut the fuck up, you ugly cunt" - I always thought that was our local greeting here in Cov :D

    That's nothing compared to what I did in our local WH Smith's back in the day. They had a seperate store for home computers and there were several display models in the window. Picture walking past a shop window, and seeing 20 or so screens saying "Fuck off, Wankers!!!".

    Kids will be kids, and idiots will still allow full access to display models.

    Oh, and news must be slow if El Reg is culling stories from the Coventry Telegraph :)

  32. Rampant Spaniel

    The camera must be broken otherwise it missed out the word ginger.

    She must be the talk of the local gala bingo hall, getting her and fugly offspring in the mail.

  33. Brontes

    Memreeees ...

    10 PRINT "Manic Miner is loading ..."

    20 RANDOMIZE USR 1331

    It's was either that - or stuffing pinecones into car exhausts - back in my day.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    The good old days.


    20 MODE 0

    30 INK 0,0: INK, 1,5,26


    40 GOTO 30

    On the Amstrad CPC that would disable the Escape key and would mean they would have to power cycle the computer to reset it. Although frankly even at the age of 8 it baffled me that shops left the computers just sitting at the BASIC prompt rather than loading up a demo or a game. The CPC came with a proper rolling demo on one of the CPM system discs!

  35. GrumpyJoe

    Remember the old Amiga 500s?

    There was one in a local Dixons/Comet/<insert electronics retailer here> locally on a display loop with no mouse attached. There were keyboard shortcuts for mouse movements - I knew them - I started up the TTS system on Workbench and typed several fruity words. Turned up volume to full on telly attached, asked kid nearby to press enter on the count of 10 - started walking out of shop.

    Just as I left it sounded like Stephen Hawking had developed tourettes at top volume...

    Them were the days...

  36. voice.of.reason


    Wouldn't get as many clicks if the article was titled 'Tesco employee adds obscene name to demonstration smart phone and surprises child who uses it', would it?

  37. Tom Cooke

    Bid for oldest instance of this

    OK, sad I know, but my earliest experience of this was with a Sharp MZ80K running BASIC from tape in RAM, and we got (heaven only knows where!) a memory map for it which allowed this exact thing. Really cool part was, you could write the hacked BASIC back to tape, so everyone had their own boot tape with their favourite messages.


  38. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    I see nothing wrong...

    Seems a reasonable enough comment to make to anyone thinking of buying a fruity phone

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