Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 04 March |
Saint of the Day: St. Casimir
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Google thanks grandma for her good old-fashioned manners

GRANDMA,COMPUTER,OUTSIDE

Maskot | Getty Images

Cerith Gardiner - published on 09/11/17

This 86-year-old woman’s polite internet etiquette will make you smile.

It’s one of the earliest social lessons children learn in life: the power of those magic words, “please” and “thank you.” But as we grow up and use them on a daily basis they can begin to sound a little diluted and perfunctory—are we truly, deeply thankful for that 80th email from a coworker? Are we really being grateful when we tack please on to the end of our salad orders? Maybe not.

As a result, we often forget the power of these small courtesies. And maybe even forget to add that quick “please” at all, especially in a world that moves at the thumb-flying speed of teenage texting. Social graces are a bit fewer and farther between these days.


MAN ON PHONE

Read more:
Minding our manners: How WhatsApp is making us rude

So last week when 86-year-old British grandma, May Ashworth, entered an incredibly polite search into her Google browser, it caused a little wave of courtesy, delight, and gratitude to wash over the web.

Mrs. Ashworth’s grandson, Ben, discovered her search request when he went to visit her. The grandmother, wanting a Roman to Arabic numeral conversion, had typed in: “Please translate these Roman numerals MCMXCVIII thank you.” The octogenarian believed her internet search was being sent to an actual person at Google HQ. Finding this very amusing Ben took a photo of her computer screen and tweeted her polite request.

In return, Google UK thanked “Ben’s nan” saying: “In a world of billions of searches, yours made us smile. “Oh, and it’s 1998,” it added. “Thank YOU.” And Google’s official Twitter account sent its own tweet: “Dear Grandma, No thanks necessary (smiley face).”

She made readers everywhere giggle, and reminded us that even in a world of lightening quick technology, manners go a long way. Especially when we bemoan the increasing lack of manners in others; when people walk by as you hold open the door without acknowledging you, or when our own kids don’t thank us for their meals, or their clean laundry. Pleases and thank-yous might not make the news headlines every day, but they do make a difference.

So maybe, just for today, to honor Mrs. Ashworth, we could all type “pleases” and “thank-yous” into our preferred search engines: No magic words, no search results!

Tags:
CultureSocial Media
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
2
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
3
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
4
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
5
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
6
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
7
SAINT JOSEPH AND CHILD JESUS
Philip Kosloski
10 Things you should know about St. Joseph
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.