In an age where it seems like the world doesn’t remember how to say “excuse me,” much less please or thank you, it can be jarring when you’re confronted with real, live manners. Of course, these real, live manners came from an 86-year-old British woman… because of course.
May Ashworth unknowingly became a viral sensation after her grandson noticed that she Google searched, “please translate these Roman numerals MCMXCVIII thank you.” Ben, her grandson Tweeted an image of her search, which instantly took off on the internet. People around the world were charmed by Ben’s gran (as he called her)—perhaps it reminded us all of a bygone time in which people were actually nice to one another.
And the politeness was not for nothing—Google responded to Ben’s tweet, first with this simple message:
No thanks necessary. 😊
— Google (@Google) June 15, 2016
And then later GoogleUK followed up with an even sweeter message:
Dearest Ben's Nan.
Hope you're well.
In a world of billions of Searches, yours made us smile.
Oh, and it's 1998.
— Google UK (@GoogleUK) June 15, 2016
According to the BBC, when grandson Ben asked why May was so polite, she told him she thought it might make the search go faster.
“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 outlet. “She thought that by being polite and using her manners, the search would be quicker.”