Antedating of "Googol" and "Googolplex"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Dec 27 16:37:02 UTC 2008

The OED's first uses for "googol" and "googolplex" are dated 1940.  A JSTOR search, however, retrieves two 1938 citations for both words, from Science News-Letter, Feb. 12, 1938, p. 108; and Mathematical Gazette, May 1938, p. 215.  These 1938 articles make it clear that Edward Kasner used both words in an article entitled "New Names in Mathematics" in _Scripta Mathematica Forum Lectures_ (1937).

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                                            Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and        YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press
Yale Law School                                           ISBN 0300107986
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