Friday, 22 May 2009

Microsoft's “Class Invariants By Abstract Interpretation”

Every now and then we have some marketing or branding blunders which use words representing something totally different in other languages. Even some Marketing or Promotional Strategy 101 dedicated an entire chapter to it. I could not recall historically any blunders on this scale which involves my mother tongue, Hokkien. It involves one of Microsoft's title of an academic paper by a researcher prior to joining the organisation called "Class Invariants By Abstract Interpretation" which if you know Hokkien (irregardless Northern or Southern) and Bahasa Melayu, the acronym translated to a highly vulgar word in reference to the female genital, usually use to swear at others. According to the latest source, Microsoft allows their researchers to post their past papers on their site, to enable the public to search across these researchers’ entire body of prior work. Microsoft also explains that the acronym which causes so much cyberlaughter across blogosphere, particularly from Pearl Of The Orient state all the way down to the Lion City State is not one of their apps or products (lucky them!), is unintentional and will be looking into removing it shortly. I wonder if the local employees of Microsoft is aware this rip roaring subject. And local stand up comedians must be having time of their life taking potshots at Microsoft.

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