Grandson shares nan's polite Google search

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screengrab of google searchImage source, Ben John/Twitter

Using Google to search for things on the internet has become a common part of most people's daily lives.

But it seems the internet giant may just have found its politest searcher - 86-year-old May Ashworth.

The grandmother's request read: "Please translate these roman numerals mcmxcviii thank you."

Image source, Ben John/Twitter
Image caption,
Ben John and his polite nan May Ashworth

Ben John, from Wigan, tweeted a photo of his nan's very polite search on Google that so far has been retweeted nearly nine thousand times.

'I went to my nan's to do my washing'

The 25-year-old had been visiting his nan when he went on her computer and saw what she had typed into Google.

"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.

"While I was waiting I thought I'd go on the internet and that's why I opened her laptop."

Ben realised she had not switched it off, she had only closed the lid.

He glanced at the page she had open and nearly closed it before he noticed what she had put into Google.

Image source, Ben John

Ben's nan likes to watch TV and it seems she has an interest in knowing when programmes were made.

Television shows still use Roman numerals on their credits to show the year of the programme.

"She saw a TV show the other day but couldn't work out from the credits when it was made, so she put the numerals into Google," said Ben.

"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!"

But hundreds of thousands of people have seen the tweet - and many have expressed how much they loved it.

Image source, James/Twitter
Image source, Martyn/Twitter
Image source, CC/Twitter

Manners make the search go faster

Ben said his nan doesn't use her laptop much. "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."

"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."

Image source, Google UK/Twitter

As well as social media users, Google UK was also charmed with Ben's nan May. The company noticed the photo of the search and tweeted Ben's account with a message for her saying: "In a world of billions of searches, yours made us smile."

Ben said he's surprised at the amount of attention his tweet has received. "I posted the photo on Thursday, and it wasn't immediately picked up by the media. I've even had calls from the US for me to speak on their shows."

Produced by Catherine Ellis

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