Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 21:20:16 EST
From: Larry Horn LHORN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YALEVM.CIS.YALE.EDU
Subject: Re: Zero or "o"?
Also, 'operator' might be considered as a reason for saying 'oh' in a
phone number. Looking at the key pad, however, it does appear that there is
a digit zero. I feel as if I'm being a bit relaxed when I say 'oh' and a bit
to 'formal' or overly correct when I say zero, but, ok, more precise too.
With all sorts of new computer/email codes and addresses it will probably
become more important to make sure these two symbols are accurately comm
Of course the Operator position was originally keyed to O because the latter
was referred to as "oh", or so I assume. Anyway, the one position we NEVER get
'zero' is in referring to years like 1903--yet there's no possibility of
analyzing that as '19-operator-3'. I have a feeling the full range of labels
is complicated and pretty interesting. In sports scores, for instance, the
losing score is "nothing" (never "oh" and rarely "zero") if it's baseball or
football, "nil" if it's soccer, and "love" if it's tennis. Otherwise, 0 is
usually "oh" for reasons of least effort in house addresses, dates, etc., but
as Marla points out this may change in computer addresses, as it already has
to some extent in other contexts where the value of a particular alphanumeric
symbol is otherwise unrecoverable (as between letter "O" and number "0") and
where the distinction matters--license plates, vehicle IDs,...