Google has thanked an 86-year-old British woman who proved old-fashioned manners have a place in the modern world when she typed “please” and “thank you” in an internet search.
May Ashworth’s grandson Ben John found her laptop open and took a photo of the unusually polite online request. She was asking for a translation of the Roman numerals MCMXCVIII.
John, a 25-year-old from Wigan, has been retweeted more than 11,000 times.
He told the BBC he and his boyfriend do not have a clothes dryer so they go to Ashworth’s house for their laundry.
“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.
“She thought that by being polite and using her manners, the search would be quicker,” he said.
British television shows use Roman numerals on their credits for the year the programme was made. Ashworth had seen them and wanted a translation into modern-day numerals, based on the Hindu-Arabic system.