One grandmother from Greater Manchester has just become the internet’s latest star, after her grandson tweeted a snap of her extremely polite searching history.
Ben Eckersley, 25, from Wigan, recently opened Google on his grandmother’s laptop to find that 86-year-old May Ashworth has been exchanging many a pleasantry with the search engine.
Sharing a photograph of Ashworth’s search for the meaning behind a group of Roman numerals, Eckersley noted how his grandmother has been using ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in her search text.
Finding the touching use of good manners somewhat amusing, Eckersley tweeted a snap of the search, which reads: ‘Please translate these roman numerals mcmxcviii thank you.’
The tweet has now had over 15,000 shares and more than 22,000 likes, with social media users the world over applauding Ashworth’s online manners.
“She just thinks that’s how it’s done,” Eckersley explains in an interview with Buzzfeed.
They say manners will see you far, and it turns out that in Ashworth's case, the same is true even when you’re talking to the Google bots. After picking up on the story, the team behind the search engine took to Twitter to reply to her directly (and also answer that initial query):
“Dearest Ben's Nan. Hope you're well. In a world of billions of Searches, yours made us smile. Oh, and it's 1998. Thank YOU.”
Talking to CBC News, Ashworth says: “I feel a bit stupid really 'cause I did it that way. I thought, well somebody's put it in, so you're thanking them. I don't know how it works to be honest. It's all a mystery to me.”
Taking a guess as to why her good manners have resonated with people so widely, Ashworth puts it down to cultural changes in society which, perhaps, aren’t necessarily doing us good.
“The films [today] seem to be all nasty and explosions. So it might be in the back of [people's] minds, it's just something a bit calming or soothing... I don't know,” she says.
“I'm old enough to have gone through from the war to now… I was born in 1930, and you can imagine, there's been so much change in the world all that time.
“But I don't know if it's for the better or not.”
Naturally, Eckersley and Ashworth are celebrating in the only way that’s proper; with a good cup of tea.