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Here’s how the word ‘Google’ came to be – it’s not what you think!

Maryam Dodhy Written by Maryam Dodhy ·  1 min read >

If you keep yourself updated with the happenings in the tech world you will know that Google has now morphed into Alphabet. In an extremely unexpected titled blog post, Google’s now ex-CEO Larry Page announced that Google will now be the subsidiary of a larger governing company called Alphabet. Be that as it may, no one can erase the power of Google no matter by which name it is known. Today, we would like to indulge you in a little history lesson of how the word Google actually came to be.

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Back in 1998, when Larry Page and Sergey Brin registered the domain, they named it after googol. Googol is an extremely large number – 1 followed by 100 zeroes. But is that the first occurrence of the word Google? No, it isn’t. The word Google was first invented by Raymond Chandler, one of the most celebrated names in English literature.

A literature student, Chris Routledge, pointed this out in his blog. Raymond Chandler was well-known for his witty and sarcastic humor and his parodies of Sci-Fi novels. In a letter to his friend dated March 14, 1953, he writes:

Did you ever read what they call Science Fiction? It’s a scream. It is written like this: “I checked out with K19 on Adabaran III, and stepped out through the crummaliote hatch on my 22 Model Sirus Hardtop. I cocked the timejector in secondary and waded through the bright blue manda grass. My breath froze into pink pretzels. I flicked on the heat bars and the Bryllis ran swiftly on five legs using their other two to send out crylon vibrations. The pressure was almost unbearable, but I caught the range on my wrist computer through the transparent cysicites. I pressed the trigger. The thin violet glow was ice-cold against the rust-colored mountains. The Bryllis shrank to half an inch long and I worked fast stepping on them with the poltex. But it wasn’t enough. The sudden brightness swung me around and the Fourth Moon had already risen. I had exactly four seconds to hot up the disintegrator and Google had told me it wasn’t enough. He was right.”

Now, this piece was written in 1953 when only tech researchers had computers. Notice how futuristic this letter is? In line 4, Chandler refers to a wrist computer which sounds an awful lot like today’s smartwatches. And the way he refers to Google, it may have been a smart robot who knows everything – kind of like the Google we know.

Larry Page & Sergey Brin have never disclosed if this was the inspiration for Google but if you have a literary bug, you can read Chandler’s complete letter here.

Source: The Verge Image Credits: Escubes

Written by Maryam Dodhy
I love bringing to light stories of extraordinary people working in Pakistan's tech and startup industry. You can reach out to me through Profile