2007-12-08

Escaping

Another anecdote brought from the WOC2007: Imre Leader says he had a problem to sign himself up as a leader of the British team to the International Mathematical Olympiad. "Okay, so Imre is the leader, but what's his surname?" they kept asking. VladikG: "Escaping is a common problem in languages, including programming languages. This leads to idiotic bugs like SQL Injection holes"

Perhaps Russian speakers remember the Nikulin's joke about a georgean guy named "avas" who was asked what's his name and after three iterations they gave up. For Hebrew readers, there's an even better one - at least in being a real story - brought by my brother from his army base. They had an Ethiopian immigrant soldier named "moshe lama". He also had severe accent and troubles with understanding. So every time he was asked for his last name for authorities, he answered "lama" (=why, heb) and made some ppl really angry with that.

Speaking of the army, this reminds me of another story of an ethiopean soldier also named Moshe, the story also told by VladikG when he was in Giv'ati. The legend says that the guy was very talanted and learned to speak Russian pretty well - which was a disaster, because for uneducated (officer's) eye his black appearance was misleading, and they were seeking someone else to punish if he speaks out. One night the shortwave frequencies were filled up, as usual, with curses in russian (mat) from unidentified sources, but the truth about Moshe started to leak. At some point a "russian" officer broke the code of silence, "Moshe, shut up already!". After a short silence, the reply was in perfect moscow accent - "Mark, go suck my black dick."^Z. I don't know what punishment he received, but certainly he was one of those clowns who could humiliate themselves to the worst extent possible to give others a good laugh.

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