This is the most polite Google search request ever

In an unsavoury world of internet trolls and online abuse, it’s comforting to find the most polite Google search ever to restore your faith in web humanity.

Ben John was using his 86-year-old grandmother’s laptop when he spotted her last Google search request – and it will make you smile…

polite google searchPlease and thank you never hurt anyone

It seems kindly May Ashworth assumed there was an actual person who read each incoming search request at Google, and thought being polite would make things happen a little quicker.

Ben, 25, from Wigan, explained: “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.

“While I was waiting I thought I’d go on the internet and that’s why I opened her laptop.”


That’s when he saw the open Google page with granny May Ashworth asking, ever so nicely, what the Roman Numerals mcmxcviii mean.

Ben told the BBC: “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.

“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!”

ben john may ashowrthBen with his well-mannered gran, May

His Tweet is going viral, with 17,000 retweets and 24,000 likes at the time of writing.

Word soon got round to Google, who replied – via Twitter, of course…

Ben said his granny was not entirely sure how Google worked. “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.”