Yahoo! programmers might really be yahoos

Canadian is a “foreign language” for Yahoo! programmers.

I read about the new Yahoo! calendar, and figured I’d give it a test drive. So I used Google to find and logged in to try it out.

Though I logged in successfully, all I got was the content at the URL You can visit it yourself, but I’ll spare you the trouble. It reads:

The new Yahoo! Calendar Beta doesn’t work in your language yet. The team is working around the clock to translate everything in your language.
By the way, did you know there are over 6,000 languages in the world?

Now look at that URL again. It’s easy to guess what it means. The intl=ca part specifies my “international” designation as Canada. And unsp_intl makes me think of unspecified international (language).

So this is to say that the Yahoo!-ers who built the new calendar really think that Canadians don’t speak English. The same thing would happen to Swedish Yahoo! users – even though English proficiency is nationally mandated in that country. Not to mention all the other countries where English may as well be a national language.

This puts me in mind of a particular English word that was first coined by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels as the name of a race of “brutish” creatures, and which in modern times means a lout, a rude, noisy person, neither intelligent nor cultured. Yup, I mean “yahoo.”

Talk about truth in advertising.


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