We have the Websters New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition
Copyright 1999 that was used for reference. Difficult for an engineer
to find moving "standards", but in todays' environment maybe I'll take
that back. Thanks.
On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 13:15:06 -0400, "J. Clarke"
Several years ago, in a programing class, the instructor kept using "O" in
place of zero when addressing the class and as his examples where on a
chalkboard (yes, more than a few years ago), the difference wasn't obvious.
It was several days of this before we actually got to run anything. By that
time, "O" was firmly ingrained in our minds. I, for one, was not to pleased
when I tried to run some code that, of course, wouldn't run because the
instructor had been sloppy.
And I still remember the controversy over whether we should put
a slash through the letter or the number so the keypunchers
could tell which we meant.
I finally resorted to putting a note at the top of each coding
sheet that said which was slashed - but it's been so long I
don't remember which that was :-).
Sloppy? It's perfectly good English; North American as well as
European English. That's how any one I know says it when stating
their phone number. When you hear an area code "205 -..." don't you
pronounce it "Two Oh Five - ..."?
I've also programmed and taught it, and if you used an "O" instead of
a Zero [slash-O], it was because of your own lack of comprehension at
the time, using alpha instead of numeric out of context. I had to
help a person who said he'd "written a program" when in fact he'd
simply copied it wrongly, not understanding what a DIM statement
actually did, setting aside storage. It should have made sense at the
time, or you would have, or should have asked at that time.
"Oh" in the phone number is a bad holdover from the days when we dialed
"Operator" for all the long distance calls. Anybody who served in the
military should have been quickly broken of the habit because of the
confusion it can cause.
Tom Veatch wrote:
As a long time radio opperator, the importance of being understood was
ingrained in me a long time ago. No, I NEVER say O when I mean zero. It is
just plain sloppy.
Have you ever programed a robot in G code? If not, you have no idea what you
are talking about. Letters and numbers are mixed and they are NOT
ALL of England, Canada, and so far as I know the U.S. telephone
operators say "Oh". "Zero" is for the military.
Not "G-code", but assembler [and plain hex dumps] among several high
level languages, and I certainly realise that "alphanumeric" code
still distinguishes O and 0, and that they are not interchangeable.
That is precisely the point. You blamed your teacher for your own [at
that time] lack of understanding. The logical context should have
given you the clue, not the pronunciation.
Enough already. It's about a "try square".
Fortran instructor cautioned us to AVOID using Oh for zero when
punching cards for the IBM 3600 (I think was the model). That was
almost 40 years ago. CBS radio in Los Angeles has a computer "guru"
weekends that uses Oh consistently in phone NUMBERS. Still feel it's
throwing a curve at youngsters when it comes time to work with
Oh for zero and eye for 1 are probably the two most common errors in FORTRAN
programming. I never will forget watching a PhD computer scientist
struggling with one of her programs one time. After pounding into us "use
meaningful variable names" she wrote "DO 100, I (the letter eye)=I (the
letter I) TO 100" and then couldn't for the life of her figure out why it
wasn't behaving as expected. (note--please don't bellyache about my
syntax--it's been about 20 years since I wrote my last line of FORTRAN).
It doesn't help that I through (IIRC) N are implicit integers in FORTRAN so
the lazy programmer's instinctive reaction is to use I for the the loop
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Nice comeback, but it's a miss, I think. Isn't it the case that better
quality ruled squares use etching for the divisions? I agree that
stamping the divisions could have unhappy effects on the rule's
accuracy. Viz my POS framing square...
Not a miss at all. The OP specified both stamped and etched. In any case,
stamping does not necessarily have any detrimental effect on accuracy. It
depends on the sequence of operations.
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