While many people would feel thankful towards Google for making their internet searches so easy, this time, it was the tech giant that thanked an 86-year-old British woman for displaying manners.
May Ashworth had typed in “please” and “thank you” in her search query. Her request read, “Please translate these Roman numerals MCMXCVIII thank you.”
Ben John, from Wigan, tweeted a picture of his nan’s internet search. It has been retweeted as many as 11,000 times. “I live with my boyfriend and we don’t have a dryer at our house, so I usually go over to my nan’s to do our washing,” he said, as reported by BBC. “While I was waiting I thought I’d go on the internet and that’s why I opened her laptop.”
John said his nan hadn’t switched off her computer, but only closed the lid. When he saw the page she had open he saw her search entry on Google. “I asked my nan why she used ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and it seemed she thinks that there is someone – a physical person – at Google’s headquarters who looks after the searches,” he said.
John said Ashworth doesn’t use the laptop a lot. “She goes to a silver surfers’ club at the local library to learn about computers and the internet, but she hardly ever uses her laptop,” he said.
“She thought that by being polite and using her manners, the search would be quicker,” he said. “It made me chuckle so I thought I’d take a photo and put it on Twitter for my friends to see. I didn’t expect so many other people to see it!”
As reported by the Guardian, Roman numerals are used by British shows to designate the year they were made in. John’s nan wanted to know the translation of the numerals in modern day numbers.
Google UK posted a tweet, thanking John’s nan. “In a world of billions of searches, yours made us smile,” the tweet said. “Oh, and it’s 1998. Thank YOU”.
John expressed his surprise at how quickly his post had been shared. “I posted the photo on Thursday, and it wasn’t immediately picked up by the media,” he said. “I’ve even had calls from the US for me to speak on their shows.”
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