When is ‘zero’ pronounced as ‘oh’ when reading a number?

It seems to me that the rule is that, for base 10, with no snarky comment feared, each member of a string of zeros of maximal length is pronounced as ‘oh’ if, and only if, the string is bracketed by non-zero digits. Since a sequence of two or more instances of ‘oh’ can be (mis)interpreted as an emotional reaction to some event, the reader might employ ‘zero’ instead of ‘oh’ in such a case, if a snarky comment from someone is feared. For a base other than 10, ‘zero’ is not pronounced as ‘oh’ if the base is being immediately contrasted with base 10. For example, “Decimal five in binary is one-zero-one.” If the other base is not being immediately contrasted with base 10, then presumably ‘oh’ might be used for ‘zero’ in the same way as for base 10.

keywords: Mathematics, notation, pronunciation, letter 15, O

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