[Ads-l] A 1921 transitional (?) Mulligan--stew to golf?

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 22 15:59:44 UTC 2016

As this was 1922, no doubt the Google being alluded to here was Barney
Google. That was the height of Google-mania.

And just to bring things full circle, "googol" (which inspired the name of
the search engine) was suggested by Edward Kasner's nephew, who was a fan
of Barney Google. I discuss this in the Lexicon Valley podcast on


On Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 9:36 AM, James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at netscape.com>

> On Tue, 21 Jun 2016 12:27:34 Zone+0000 Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> wrote:
> <quote>
> "....Golf architecture designed to deceive the player defeats its own
> ends. At best it fools only the players new to the course.
> Another lot of greens seeded to Google's Gorgeous Grass Goulash. Better
> try Mulligan's Marvelous Mixture....."
> from "Meditations of a Peripatetic Golfer" in The Bulletin of the United
> States Golf Association, Oct.16, 1922, v. 2 n. 10, p. 300.
> <end quote>
> I imagine the search engine people would be quite surprised to find
> "Google" in use in 1922.
> "Googol" meaning 1 followed by 100 zeroes dates to around 1940 when Kasner
> and Newman used it in their book "Mathematics and the Imagination"
> (copyright 1940, page 23 of the 2001 Dover reprint
> https://books.google.com/books?id=Vm9U6EIJSDgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=mathematics+and+the+imagination&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjJooOQ3rvNAhUHFz4KHZqtASgQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=googol&f=false
> )
> According to one of the search engine's founders "Google means a very
> large number,' Page said. "It is the number '1' followed by 100 zeroes.
> And we were trying to come up with a name.  We were confused about how too
> spell this, and so we actually spelled it incorrectly."
> https://books.google.com/books?id=zyTCAlFPjgYC&pg=PT198&dq=google&hl=en&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwj7rvCB37vNAhWJFj4KHaBzAiMQ6AEIIzAC#v=onepage&q=name&f=false

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