Pronunciation of "googol"

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sat Dec 21 16:18:57 UTC 2002

The name Google may be derived from a mathematical term, but it seems likely that it and its pronunciation was influenced by the fact that several of its predecessors among web browsers were named after cartoon characters.  I recall Archie, which was followed (? if I remember) by Veronica.

I am supposing the the name Google was chosen in part as an allusion to Barney Google.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African
Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998.

----- Original Message -----
From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Date: Thursday, December 12, 2002 2:33 pm
Subject: Re: Pronunciation of "googol"

> At 9:20 AM -0800 12/12/02, vida morkunas wrote:
> >I say Goo-g'l
> >
> >Vida.
> >(in the Pacific NW)
> Me too, but I have an alternation with the full vowel for
> "googolplex", where the [u] in the first syllable and the [a] in the
> second both get secondary stress:
> [,gu,gal'plEks]
> (...which is, everyone will remember, 1 followed by a googol of
> zeros.  A very large number indeed.  This too is defined in Gamow's
> _One, Two, Three, Infinity_, or a title approximating that.
> larry
> P.S.  Actually, I think I've also known myself to use the ['gu,gal]
> pronunciation for "google", with the full vowel.

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