tbc0: the 0 is silent

Boy, do I have egg on my face. A big goose egg. 0. Zero. Twenty days ago I got it in my head that “0” is pronounced “zed” in British English. I held that mistaken belief for twenty days, even though I’ve known all along that the British pronounce the 26th letter of the alphabet “zed.”

Though I’m publishing this post after midnight on March 22nd, I fixed my Twitter profile—and my blog—on the 21st. I’m mortified that the Internet Archive will forever contain this mistake. Oh, well. Moving on.

It would have been appropriate for this to be the first blog post I’ve written at tbc.micro.blog since I enabled cross-posting, but that happened 10 days ago. (I syndicate at twitter.com/tbc0, medium.com/@tbc0, and facebook.com/timchambersusa.) I gave up on Medium when they started charging real money for crap writing. (No, it’s not all crap. I’m generalizing.) I syndicate there only because I can. I’ve already pretty much given up posting on Facebook. I intend to blog more and Twitter less from now on.

But back to the goose egg. As a computer scientist, I would never pronounce “0” “nil,” because they mean two different things in my profession. “Zero” is so formal. And why should the number signifying nothing get two syllables, anyway? For monosyllables, I kind of like zilch. Naught has a British ring to it. Having said all that, as an autodidactic philosopher, I’m most fond of this. When it comes to pronouncing my unique four-character identifier on the internet, tbc0, say “tee bee see.” The “0” is silent.


Tim Chambers @tbc