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Apple's Siri curses out 12-year-old

Someone reportedly tampers with a demo iPhone 4S so that when a 12-year-old boy picks it up and asks Siri a question, she is not amused or amusing. She tells him to "Shut the f*** up."

2 min read

These have been trying times for Siri.

Not only has she been having to work overtime answering mundane questions posed by those with nothing better to think or do, she's even been helping Santa get off his large, lazy bottom and do his job.

It is, perhaps, unsurprising that she seems to have finally lost her temper. For, as 12-year-old Charlie Le Quesne picked up a demonstration iPhone 4S in a branch of Tesco in the UK, Siri finally let her frustrations out. (Yes, I know she puts on a man's voice in the U.K., but that's just because the Brits have, well, certain issues.)

The voice behind the U.K.'s Siri speaks.
What lurks within Siri's temperamental soul? Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

According to the Sun, the conversation went like this.

Le Quesne to Siri: "How many people are there in the world?"

Siri to Le Quesne: "Shut the f*** up, you ugly t***."

You might imagine that young Le Quesne's mom, Kim, was somewhat taken aback to hear someone in authority talk like that.

She told the Sun (I know, I know): "I thought I must be hearing things. So we asked again and the same four-letter stuff blared out."

I am in at least two minds to reveal how it was that Siri might have suddenly turned Smutti. However, the staff at Tesco reportedly said that some amusing individual had entered this rather inelegant phrase as the user's name in the set-up instructions.

Oh, what have we started here?

Tesco, somewhat unused to this level of controversy in its pristine stores, told the Sun that the company had launched an investigation and had sent the phone back to Apple to be diagnosed.

Which leaves just one question dangling about one's lips: Where might the phone have been tampered with? Might it have been in the store itself?

Or might someone, somewhere along the manufacturing and delivery process, have decided that this was the way to make for a fun Christmas?