Please translate this, thank you: British grandma's polite search request charms Google and rest of Internet

Mr Ben John (left) with his grandmother Ms May Ashworth.
Mr Ben John (left) with his grandmother Ms May Ashworth. PHOTO: BEN JOHN / TWITTER
Mr Ben John tweets about his grandmother May Ashworth's politeness.
Mr Ben John tweets about his grandmother May Ashworth's politeness.PHOTO: BEN JOHN / TWITTER

A British grandmother's exceedingly polite Google search request has charmed users across the Internet - and the search giant too.

Wanting to find out what certain Roman numerals meant, Ms May Ashworth, 86, typed into Google: "please translate these roman numerals mcmxcviii thank you".

Her unusually polite search terms caught the attention of her grandson, Mr Ben John, who had found her laptop open.

He tweeted last Friday (June 10): "Omg opened my Nan's laptop and when she's googled something she's put 'please' and 'thank you'. I can't"

Mr John told the BBC that his grandmother thought there was an actual 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," he said, adding that she goes to a "silver surfers' club" at a local library to learn about computers, but does not use her laptop much.

Ms Ashworth was apparently looking to find out the year a certain television programme that she had seen was made. TV shows in Britain still use Roman numerals in their credits, the BBC said.

Mr John's tweet went viral, and has been retweeted more than 13,000 times and liked almost 20,000 times as of 1pm on Thursday (June 16).

The reaction was overwhelmingly positive, with one user writing: "that is the CUTEST THING EVER"

The tweet naturally caught the eye of Google, which had a courteous reply of its own.

"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," the search giant's United Kingdom account tweeted.

Google's global account couldn't resist replying too: "Dear Grandma, no thanks necessary. Sincerely, Google."