Odd Thoughts: No help for Siri-us situation

I can’t quite decide whether Siri is truly an unintelligent machine, or really a Machiavellian wizard.

I call her “she,” of course, simply because my iPhone’s simulacrum of a human voice has feminine characteristics.

“It” would probably be more appropriate… but as of late, I don’t think it would be wise to upset her.

I keep a running shopping list in my phone. It’s very handy, but I thought I could save a few keystrokes every time I use it by getting Siri to fetch it for me.

I have occasionally dictated column ideas, and even whole columns, to her in the past, and I figured I could expand her usefulness this way.

It should be simple, I thought.


I started, as I usually do when I speak to Siri, quite courteously: Siri, please find my shopping list.

Siri: You don’t have any reminders on your shopping list.

I knew that wasn’t right, so perhaps she just misunderstood me: Please find my shopping file.

Siri: (Lists apps and websites devoted to shopping.)

Me: (Still polite) Siri, please find my shopping file in Notes.

Siri: I have found all of your notes (Lists nearly all of my notes, curiously excluding my shopping list).

Me: (Teeth gritted, but still under control, since surely, Siri would not recognize my list as a file that I have it in its own folder titled “1shopping”.) Siri, please find my one-shopping folder in my Notes app.

Siri: I found all of your notes (but still no shopping list).

Me: (Perhaps a demand, rather than a request will work better) Siri, find my “one-shopping” folder in Notes.

Siri: Sorry, there aren’t any notes matching “shopping folder in”.

Donna (helpfully): Maybe Siri will recognize “number one shopping” folder.

Me: Siri, find my number one shopping folder in my Notes app.

Siri: I found all of your notes. (No! She didn’t!)

Me: Find the folder in my Notes app labelled numeral one shopping.

Siri: I didn’t find any notes matching “app labelled numeral one shopping.”

Me: (No more Mr. Nice Guy) Siri, are you good for anything?

Siri: No comment, Bob.

Me: Am I frustrating you as much as you are frustrating me?

Siri: Take a deep breath… Another.


She should have just told me to save my breath.



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