longer siri questions

This is kind of interesting. A thread has popped up in the Reddit forums this week regarding some recent changes to Siri. It appears that Apple has quietly updated the digital assistant with a new, quirky attitude toward lengthy queries.

Now, when Siri is asked a question (or given a command) that is excessively long, she will quote famous passages from notable historical figures like William Strunk and Thomas Jefferson on the subject of—you guessed it—brevity…

Go ahead, give it a try. Ask Siri a question, or give her a command, longer than two sentences in length. She should respond with a snarky quote, similar to the one above from Thomas Jefferson. Here’s another new automated response:

“A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. (William Strunk, Jr.)”

There’s no word on when exactly the update occurred, but we found a discussion in Apple’s support forums that started back on May 4th. Users took to the forums to complain that the issue was preventing them from dictating lengthy messages.

So why did Apple decide to start truncating Siri queries? No one really knows. But the digital assistant has been having on and off troubles since it first launched back in the fall of 2011. Notably, it’s still marked as a beta product on Apple’s website.

Thanks Matt!

  • Ironic. Instead of simply asking you to repeat the question, it will dictate a long quote. As if she wasn’t talking slow enough already; what if I’m in a hurry?

  • andyr354

    I noticed this. She is a real smart ass lately.

  • I’m amazed this was even noticed. I mean, who still uses Siri?

    • Gorgonphone

      siri suuucks.. sad that apple did not make siri as amazing as it should be..

    • Yeah it’s a real wordy little bastard.

    • Klikkit

      I use Siri daily to set timers and call people

    • Joe B

      Don’t be too harsh, it’s still in beta version… hehe just kidding

      • Funny how people criticize siri for the 2 year beta… they are forgetting gmail was in beta for what 5 years? My bet: IOS 7, Siri will be a bad a$$ alongside the shiny new coat of paint.

      • Eldaria

        Well at least Gmail was fully functional during the so called “beta”.
        Not just a label on half done product like Siri.

        Siri is fun, but not so useful to many times she does not “get it”.

        Well at least Siri worked better than Maps on the day of “release”. I don’t think they called Maps for Beta, although they should have.

      • In what ways is it “not done”? It does what it advertises, no more no less. Just because it isn’t as fast doesn’t mean squat. Apple has a track record of either being first to the punch *iPad* or it takes a couple extra months to fine tune a feature.

      • I didn’t forget Gmail was in beta for 5 years..
        It’s just this is just a convo about Siri, not Gmail. So it wasnt mentioned 😉

      • genXhippie

        Yes, in its present state, Siri is definitely a$$ imo. Especially, since Apple was presenting it as fully functional/ a polished finished product upon release, which even almost 2 yrs later it far from that imo.

  • Come on, that was the best thing about siri… being able to send a text with only one voice command…

  • Siri is terrible. The only thing I want it to do — send a text when I’m driving by just touching the single button on my bluetooth headset — is something it’s absolutely horrible at.

  • adam lompis

    I just noticed this yesterday, I went to send a message and she gave me the “How about a shorter question?” So I had to unlock my device and retype the whole message again. Quite frustrating especially when you are trying to send a long message! Thanks Apple. -_-

  • Adam Bowman

    So, in other words, Siri is insecure about her inadequacies and she has to cover up by attempting to sound clever. Strange that Apple would think we would tolerate an obnoxious and condescending remark from an AI which is supposed to be an assistant, especially considering we don’t tolerate it from real life people. Apple should just be sincere and have Siri reply “Sorry, I can’t do that, because I suck. Maybe one day I’ll be able to handle a query that isn’t worded for the comprehension level of a three year old.”

    AI now stands for Artifical Insult.

  • Cool hahahah but kinda annoying?

  • bloodshed

    a delicate way of saying “i’ve got no time for this, be brief goddamnit”.

  • Joe B

    I’m thinking of installing Siri on my iPod (not an iPod 5) do you guys think it’s worth it?

    • Jonah John

      I looked for one and found one called something like siri for ios 6 original and then bricked my ipod touch 4 :(. I suggest just getting evi from the app store. Thats what i use.

      • Joe B

        Thanks I will look evi up.

  • How about Siri actually starts listening and doing what I say!

  • ThisBrian

    You must need to be a redneck, it works great for me (rarely misunderstands a word I say). The only issue I really have is since my jailbreak it locks up when sending a text from Siri. It gets it right but when I say send it locks up.

  • Seems like they’ve removed the quirky attitude, or maybe she doesn’t have that attitude here in Canada 😉

  • Kurt

    Thomas Jefferson has the best quotes. Guy was a genius.