Count the zeros – it’s absolutely correct!
A conversation, some weeks ago. The scene: Tom and I searching the web for pictures of bridges, using a well known search engine.
- Tom: “Daddy, what’s a ‘Google’?”
- Me: “It’s a website you can use to search for things.”
- Tom: “Why is it called ‘Google’?”
- Me: “Because there are lots of things and ‘googol’ is a very big number.”
- Tom: “How big, daddy?”
- Me: “Very big – if you wanted to write it you’d put a one then a hundred zeros.”
- Thoughtful silence.
The other day:
- Mummy: “What’s that you’re drawing, Tom?”
- Tom (painstakingly counting zeros as he writes them onto a line drawing of a locomotive): “It’s Bertram. He doesn’t have a number, so I’m making him the googol engine.”