The TDQ Q&A: Rosetta Stone Having Trouble Finding Engineers To Work On Sarcasm Translation Software

Rosetta-Stone <sarcasm/> Edition

"Sarcasm: that's original!" -Dr Horrible, Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog

When we here at The Daily Quarterly heard that Rosetta Stone was having a hard time finding people to work on developing their sarcasm translation software, we immediately went to sit down with Dr. Milton Hayes, head of the research team tasked with the development. Here is our first TDQ Q&A:

The Daily Quarterly: Pleasure to meet you, Dr. Hayes. What’s up, doc?

Dr. Hayes: Oh, uh, thank you. (looks up) Yes, well, there’s a…Uh..

TDQ: It’s not important, Doc. So what seems to be the problem with finding people to work on the sarcasm project?

Dr. Hayes: Well we have sent e-mails to numerous individuals we thought may be interested in working with us. But so far, we haven’t been able to come to any agreements about doing the work.

TDQ: Who have you asked, Doc?

Dr. Hayes: We went straight to the people we thought would be best versed in sarcasm: teenagers.

TDQ: But none were interested?

Dr. Hayes: No! Well, that’s not entirely true, I suppose. We were quite puzzled by their responses. One young man who attends a local high school expressed great interest, but the budget constraints were too much for the amount he wanted to be compensated.

TDQ: How much did he want?

Dr. Hayes: Here, I’ll show you his e-mail response. “Dr. Hayes, nothing would make me more proud then (sic) to help you with your request. It would mean the world to me to work with you (on) this matter…For a billion dollars!!” See? He seemed quite interested, but we just can’t afford that amount. I tried e-mailing him back to see if he would accept less money, but he hasn’t yet responded.

TDQ: I see. What other types of responses did you get?

Dr. Hayes: Well, another person did show interest, a young woman. But it appears that her schedule dictates she won’t be able to help at this time. Here is what she said to us: “Doctor-though I am quite interested and appreciative of your request for assistance to work on such a fascinating project, I am afraid that my current schedule precludes me from accepting your offer at this time. As soon as I am done not being a total geek and enjoying my senior year in high school, I will let you know.” So, we’re hoping she will be able to join us in the summer or fall, but we really must begin working on this project before that.

TDQ:Yeah, I think we’re starting to see a pattern here, Doc. I-

Dr. Hayes: Excuse me, I’m so sorry (phone rings, he answers it) Hello? Yes, yes it is. This is Dr. Hayes. Uh-huh. I see. Yes, yes it is running…My dear boy, why on earth would I chase after my refri-He hung up. (hangs up phone) I’m sorry. I do apologize. What were you saying?

TDQ: I think that should do it. Boy, Dr. Hayes, we’re so sorry you’re having such problems finding help. If there’s anything we can do to help you out, by all means, let us at The Daily Quarterly know.

Dr. Hayes: Yes, yes, we most certainly will. Thank you so much for your concern. Good day.

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