When you give a number, what do you say?

  • Thread starter StevieTNZ
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Do you say 'o' or 'zero'?

  • o

    Votes: 4 16.0%
  • zero

    Votes: 21 84.0%

  • Total voters
    25
  • #26
lisab
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How do you say highway 101? (you live in California, right?) Never heard anyone saying "one hundred and one" or "one zero one".

Good point, I do say one-o-one. Or maybe I say one-oh!-one, who knows :biggrin:!

But I never say "the 101" as they do in SoCal.
 
  • #27
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Likewise, Zip-codes. I'm in eight-four-one-oh-three. Someone might be in nine-oh-two-one-oh (Beverly Hills 90210).
Doesn't make for a very catchy TV show title: "Beverly Hills nine zero two one zero."

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).
Didn't people used to have to hit the zero button to connect with the Operator?
 
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  • #28
Evo
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Didn't people used to have to hit the zero button to connect with the Operator?
Oh, another good one!
 
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  • #29
nsaspook
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24180071.gif

Source:
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  • #30
Dembadon
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I usually say "zero", but I think I'm going to start saying "naught" as a social experiment.
 
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  • #31
wolram
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I am a country bumpkin and i all ways use ZERO as that is what is used in aviation language.
 
  • #32
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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.

Yeah, if I was in such a situation I would need to make sure I am conscious of the fact, and use o and zero appropriately.

I rang to leave a message for a my doctor to give me a call, and I said our home phone saying 'o'. The lady repeated it just how I said it.
 
  • #35
Dembadon
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Anyone know why the NATO phonetic pronunciation for the number 3 is "tree"? I can understand "niner" because it "nine" might sound like "five" over the radio, but I don't understand how "tree" would clear up any conflicts presented by "three".
 
  • #36
BobG
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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

This seems odd, since military would be the most likely to have to pronounce numbers, letters, and words over poor quality field radios, phones, etc.

When I was in the US Air Force, it was considered incorrect to use "Oh" for "Zero" - especially where I worked. It was too easy to misinterpret "Oh" and "One" over poor quality comm links. (Also why the military likes using a phonetic alphabet instead of simply reading letters over radios, phones, etc.)

Not to say it was rare for people to use "Oh" for zero. Just that it was incorrect and someone would nag you or berate you for using "Oh" (which admittedly isn't much of a punishment).

I used "zero" all the time after I saw using "Oh" over a poor quality phone line cause big problems for someone else (better to learn from someone else's bad experience than my own).
 
  • #37
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So I was watching TV last night, and an insurance ad I've seen came on. I noticed at the end the guy giving the number of the company: instead of saying double zero he said double O.
 
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  • #38
epenguin
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Anyone know why the NATO phonetic pronunciation for the number 3 is "tree"? I can understand "niner" because it "nine" might sound like "five" over the radio, but I don't understand how "tree" would clear up any conflicts presented by "three".

English "th" is one of the most difficult English phonemes (is that right?) for many non-English-mothertongue speakers to pronounce.
 
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  • #39
Dembadon
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English "th" is one of the most difficult English phonemes (is that right?) for many non-English-mothertongue speakers to pronounce.
Makes sense, good call.
 
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  • #40
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I once rang an American number and it said something about pressing the palm key. I was like 'where the heck is the palm key?' -- HASH key! Say HASH KEY!
 
  • #41
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I have a problem with model and serial numbers on equipment. When there is a mix of numbers and letters it is easy to confuse 0 and O. It gets even worse when there is more than one O or 0. The fun really starts when trying to order parts online.

I keep seeing: "that model number does not exist" then I have to start switching the 0's and O's around.. I finally get to: "enter your part number", and the 0O game starts all over again. Do we still have that "first world problems" thread?
 
  • #42
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I think saying zero is the best way to not confuse people. E.g 1800-1000 (is it one eight double O - one zero zero zero OR one triple O OR one double O zero OR one O O O) ?
 
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  • #43
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I casted my vote for zero only because "zilch" wasn't an option..
 
  • #44
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I once rang an American number and it said something about pressing the palm key. I was like 'where the heck is the palm key?' -- HASH key! Say HASH KEY!

The usual designation is POUND key. It is a bit old-fashioned, but if you wanted to write 8 pounds, you can use 8 lbs, or 8#.
 
  • #45
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When I am talking about the time (in English), I say oh oh, like 10:05 is Ten oh five, but phone numbers and such don't always sound comprehendable when you say like 50560 as in five oh five six oh, especially when talking over the phone, saying zero is a must in that case.

In Estonian or Russian we don't need to use zero/oh equivalents. In both languages we say 'the time is (or the clock shows) ten and five minutes'.
 
  • #46
collinsmark
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When I am talking about the time (in English), I say oh oh, like 10:05 is Ten oh five, [...]

Ooh, that's another good one. :smile: I do that too when talking about time (then again I'm dreadful when it comes to almost anything involving absolute time* -- not my strongpoint :oops:).

*[Edit: that includes individual local and/or non-local measurements of relativistic proper time too when expressed in absolute terms, if one wants to be nit-picky. It still all throws me. Half the time I don't know what month or year it is even from my own perspective**.]

**[frame]
 
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  • #47
DrGreg
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The usual designation is POUND key. It is a bit old-fashioned, but if you wanted to write 8 pounds, you can use 8 lbs, or 8#.
That would confuse everyone in the UK where the pound key is "£", and 8 pounds can be £8.

By the way, the £ key on a UK keyboard is in exactly the same place as the # key on a US keyboard.
 

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