Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Fri Jan 28 19:10:37 UTC 2011

As I have posted before on this list, the first known usage of "googol" in print was in Jan. 1938.  So probably Sirotta coined the term before 1938.

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Arnold Zwicky [zwicky at STANFORD.EDU]
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 11:08 AM
Subject: Re: Pauli

On Jan 28, 2011, at 7:40 AM, Jon Lighter wrote:
> I read the same book [by George Gamow] when I was twelve. And I remember the "googol" thing.
> But he didn't attribute it to his nephew.
> BTW, acc. to Google Books the passage doesn't exist.  Like the square root
> of -1.

right kind of story, but wrong source: the wikipedia entry says:

The term was coined in 1938 by 9-year-old Milton Sirotta (1929–1981), nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner. Kasner popularized the concept in his book Mathematics and the Imagination (1940).


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