Nan gets perfect response to her very polite Google search

Earlier this week, everyone fell for 86-year-old nan May Ashworth and her elegant manners.

Her grandson, 25-year-old Ben John from Wigan, had stumbled across one of May’s recent Google searches on her open laptop and he couldn’t resist sharing a screenshot on Twitter.

It was possibly the most polite search request Google has ever received.

May had been looking for a translation of the Roman numerals MCMXCVIII, so she had written to Google: ‘Please translate these roman numerals mcmxcviii thank you’.

In his tweet, Ben wrote: ‘Omg opened my Nan’s laptop and when she’s googled something she’s put ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. I can’t.’

Nan gets perfect response to her very polite Google search

Ben later asked May why she said please and thank you and she seemed to think it was standard online etiquette.

‘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 told the BBC.

‘She thought that by being polite and using her manners, the search would be quicker.’

Of course, everyone fell a little bit in love with May after that. After all, why shouldn’t old fashioned good manners have a place in our modern, tech-led, world?


And it seems good manners can get you a long way.

Because, yesterday, Nanna Ashworth got a personal – and very polite – reply back from Google UK HQ.

‘Dearest Ben’s Nan,’ they wrote. ‘Hope you’re well. In a world of billions of searches, yours made us smile. Oh, and it’s 1998. Thank YOU.’


This was followed up by a quick note from Google’s global Twitter account.

Bear in mind that they get trillions of Google requests every year.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if all online transactions could be this civilised?

Photo published for See why one grandma's Google polite request is making everyone smile

Thanks for making us all smile Nanna Ashworth.


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