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When you give a number, what do you say?

  1. o

    4 vote(s)
    16.0%
  2. zero

    21 vote(s)
    84.0%
  1. Jul 7, 2015 #1
    I was wondering how common this:

    If you give a number, such as credit card or phone number, do find you say 'o' instead of zero? I find that I say 'o'.

    I got this guy I know in Texas to do my cellphone voice message (people who hear it probably think that is me and I'm American and living in New Zealand); he said zero.
     
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  3. Jul 7, 2015 #2

    Evo

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    Zero is correct for a number. If the number used both alpha and numeric values (some accounts do that, although not credit cards) it would cause the wrong values to be taken.
     
  4. Jul 7, 2015 #3
    Yes -- definitely. However, for some reason I say 'o'.
     
  5. Jul 7, 2015 #4

    russ_watters

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    "O" is basically slang. I would expect most scientists, engineers and military would say zero (oddly, except when telling time).
     
  6. Jul 7, 2015 #5

    Drakkith

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    I use both depending on the situation and the numbers around the zero. For example, I usually say 820 as eight-two-zero, but 502 as five-oh-two. It's much easier to say "zero" right after "two" than it is after "five" because the positioning of my mouth and tongue after "five" makes it take take more time and effort. If I'm wanting to be clear, I'll slow down and say "zero" in both cases.
     
  7. Jul 7, 2015 #6

    256bits

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    Agent Double Zero Seven!! Hmmm
     
  8. Jul 7, 2015 #7

    Drakkith

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    ?:)
     
  9. Jul 8, 2015 #8

    Evo

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    Yeah, that's odd I'd also say 10:02 as 10 O 2, but I assume that comes from the "of the clock" beginnings. you would say it's "ten of the clock", shortened to ten O' clock.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
  10. Jul 8, 2015 #9

    Drakkith

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    Lies! Lies spread by the administration to suppress the truth! The truth that it's really "on the clock"!

    (I really have no idea, I'm just tired)
     
  11. Jul 8, 2015 #10

    Borek

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    Actually in Polish we say "agent zero zero siedem".

    But in general we never say "O" for a zero.
     
  12. Jul 8, 2015 #11

    SteamKing

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  13. Jul 8, 2015 #12

    Ryan_m_b

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    This is probably a regionalism somewhat as it's very common for people to say "o" in the UK.
     
  14. Jul 8, 2015 #13

    lisab

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    I think telling time is the only time I use "O" instead of zero. In that context, it's not ambiguous.
     
  15. Jul 8, 2015 #14

    Lisa!

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    I'll say "O" from now on since it sounds better than zero!
     
  16. Jul 8, 2015 #15

    WWGD

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    Polish predisposition/bias against using vowels?
     
  17. Jul 8, 2015 #16

    DrGreg

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    In the UK I would say
    • 0 within a string of digits, usually pronounced "o", sometimes "zero"
    • 0 on its own, usually "zero", never "o", except...
      • subscript, as in [itex]x_0[/itex], usually "nought" (= "naught")
        • ...except [itex]\aleph_0[/itex] is "aleph null" for some reason
      • in football (soccer), 0 is "nil"
      • in tennis, 0 is "love"
      • in cricket, 0 is "a duck"
    (And, of course, computer programmers may pronounce 0 as Ø, when they aren't celebrating Christmas at Halloween.)
     
  18. Jul 8, 2015 #17
    Depends on the situation. In the Canadian military we said '0' when reading coordinates.

    By the way it's zed eee ar o.......not zee eee ar o
     
  19. Jul 8, 2015 #18

    epenguin

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    I had the Impression that the use of 'oh' originated in the military, civilians used to say 'naught'. ?

    Edit: naught? nought?

    I say that too - in the UK.
    Except when trying to converse with an Indian call centre. (Do you have those in the U.S. or Canada? - if you do you will know why I then say zero. :oldbiggrin:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  20. Jul 8, 2015 #19

    SteamKing

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    Only if they were Old Timers, or Down Easters from Maine or someplace like that.

    Our Indian call centers in the States are in India, where they belong. :wink: :biggrin:
     
  21. Jul 8, 2015 #20
    How do you say highway 101? (you live in California, right?) Never heard anyone saying "one hundred and one" or "one zero one".
     
  22. Jul 8, 2015 #21
  23. Jul 9, 2015 #22

    epenguin

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    But in the Old Times everybody was an Old Timer.
    Our Indian call centres in the UK are in India too but we have them in the UK, on the phone.
     
  24. Jul 10, 2015 #23

    Evo

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    Ah, that's a good one. Odd that sometimes it's acceptable to use the letter O to mean the number zero.
     
  25. Jul 10, 2015 #24
    I live in area code "801" and "385", with 10 digit dialing. Of course with a phone number, it is a number, but eight-oh-one is what I say, and what everyone says.

    Likewise, Zip-codes. I'm in eight-four-one-oh-three. Someone might be in nine-oh-two-one-oh (Beverly Hills 90210).

    I think for clarity, I say "Zero". But if the context is clear, and certainly, with 10-digit dialing, it is 10 numbers ... I use "oh". My cell phone has two zeroes in a row, and I always say "zero zero four two" (numbers changed for paranoia). "Oh, Oh" would be less clear.
     
  26. Jul 13, 2015 #25

    collinsmark

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    Presently I say almost exclusively "zero," except for special exceptions like 007 or Highway 101.

    But I grew up saying "o". I had to put some effort during my adolescence to ween myself off of saying "o" when I really meant zero.

    My mom still says "o" and when I repeat a number back to her replacing the "o"s with "zero"s she gets confused.

    It's ironic that phone numbers are brought up in this conversation, because that was my original, primary motivation for changing from "o" to "zero": In terms of phone numbers specifically, "o" is 6, not zero (look at your phone).

    phone-keypad-picture-application.png
     
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