With a new year about to start- everyone will be talking about “2007”- but how will they say it? – Will they say “two-zero-zero-seven”? I bet not. Most everyone I hear says “two-oh-oh-seven” or just "oh-seven".
As you may know I recently changed phone companies- and phone numbers. My new phone number has a “0”(zero) in it.
I don’t really like that- because now when I tell someone my phone number I must choose between saying “oh” and “zero”.
Yes, I know- technically it is a number- "zero" – not the letter “O”, but I have notice that when speaking of years and phone-numbers most everyone says “oh” instead of “zero”. In fact it even sounds a bit pompous to say “zero” when a simple “Oh” will do. So I’m forced to choose between saying the easier and popular “oh” or the more technically correct “zero”.
Now in the case of years and phone numbers everybody knows that any “Oh” must be the number zero- but there are cases- such as stock-numbers and computer passwords where you can have both the letter “O” and the number “0” and it makes a big difference which is which. I think its a pity that we are stuck with such confusion as the number “0” looking too-much like the letter “O”- or for that matter the number “1” looking too much like the lower case “l” or the capital “I”. There just shouldn’t be such ambiguities in our language!