How do you pronounce 0

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How do you pronounce 0
Posted by ORNHOO on Saturday, March 03, 2018 6:50 PM

I once visited the steam shop of the Sierra Railroad in Jamestown, CA. Looking at a 4-4-0 I described it as a "four-four-oh"; the docent pointed out that "oh" is a letter, and wheel arangements are described with numerals: "four-four-zero". This, in turn, reminded me that my father (born in 1914) always called "0" "Aught". So, iback in the day, what was the acceptable pronunciation  of the missing trailing truck?

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 03, 2018 7:14 PM

I have never used anything but "oh" in Whyte coding, and never heard any other thing in my experience.  (For the docent: how would he pronounce the year "1906" or the locomotive number "4501"?)   Someone can check the link I posted to the original discussion of the Whyte system to see if there is any pronunciation convention in the language there.

"Ought" or it's close relative "nought" do factor in, but use is largely archaic now, the great exception being a certain rifle caliber.

This may be an example of semantic convention, like why we have nothing but disc brakes and disk drives.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, March 03, 2018 7:27 PM

In Canada it's ...X, Y,  Zee

In the US it's ....X, Y,  Zed 

But you do say Zee-ro.  And Zee-bra

4-4-Zero.  What the heck is that, nutty.

Some of the old Brits say naught and ought for zero. 

We do however say Chesterfield and you say Sofa or Couch.

For you folks Chesterfield is a smoke.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 03, 2018 9:20 PM

 No one I ever met in the United States said 'zed'.  That's a Britannicism seen in other ex-Dominions like Oz or EnZed.  It's 'ex,wye,zee' here and long may it stay so; let the French keep their ygrec and such.

And where I come from, Chesterfield is a coat.  And within my living memory people also called that article of furniture a 'divan' or 'davenport' -- more regional fun.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, March 03, 2018 9:50 PM

Here's the military usage...

The numeral 0 is always pronounced "zero."  And that old training is hard to break, let me tell you!  If someone asks me for my phone number I always give it as  "Area code XzeroX-XXzero-XzeroXX." 

The letter O is called "Oscar" in radio or telephone communications, it's from the international phonetic alphabet.

That being said, it's not a mortal sin if anyone calls a steam locomotive with a 4-4-0 wheel arrangement a "four-four-oh."

And no, no-one here in the US calls the letter Z "zed," it's the Brits who do that, and possibly others within the Commonwealth.

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, March 03, 2018 10:04 PM

Overmod

 No one I ever met in the United States said 'zed'.  That's a Britannicism seen in other ex-Dominions like Oz or EnZed.  It's 'ex,wye,zee' here and long may it stay so; let the French keep their ygrec and such.

And where I come from, Chesterfield is a coat.  And within my living memory people also called that article of furniture a 'divan' or 'davenport' -- more regional fun.

 

Even though I have never seen anyone wearing one, I thought of a coat, also.

I understand that W.C. Fields, when his radio program was sponsored by the American Tobacco Company, spoke of his son Chester while on the air.

Now, back to railroad matters.

Johnny

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, March 03, 2018 10:05 PM

Miningman

In Canada it's ...X, Y,  Zed

In the US it's ....X, Y,  Zee (you guys are weird)

Fixed it for you.

On CN were are required to pronounce the character "0" as "naught" in radio communications with the RTC.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Bruce Kelly on Saturday, March 03, 2018 10:53 PM

BNSF's Hauser Yard in north Idaho has what is routinely referred to as "Aught Track." It was installed some years ago as a scale track to weigh export-bound grain trains in motion. Because it was added on the north side of the existing Yard Track 1, the scale track (as it is sometimes still called) was designated Track 0, more commonly called "Aught Track" on the radio.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aught

Scroll down to the noun defintion.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, March 03, 2018 11:12 PM

Bruce Kelly

BNSF's Hauser Yard in north Idaho has what is routinely referred to as "Aught Track." It was installed some years ago as a scale track to weigh export-bound grain trains in motion. Because it was added on the north side of the existing Yard Track 1, the scale track (as it is sometimes still called) was designated Track 0, more commonly called "Aught Track" on the radio.

I imagine the Hauser scale is still there, but names like that tend to stick around long after their namesake is gone.

For example in CN's main Edmonton yard there exist the "lumber spur", "icehouse lead", and "cab track", among others.  Another terminal has a "steamline", and most small yards have a "shop track", with no building or mechanics within 100 miles. 

Ironically the "cab track" is now being used to store the Distributed Braking Cars, which are often marshalled right on the tail end of trains, just like a caboose.

Unusual railroad names could well deserve their own thread.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, March 04, 2018 12:07 AM

Firelock76
And no, no-one here in the US calls the letter Z "zed," it's the Brits who do that, and possibly others within the Commonwealth.

Wish we would.  Instead of a  Subaru BR "zee", you'd have a BR Zed.  Much cooler.

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, March 04, 2018 1:25 AM

Thanks Dude....gosh I'm so embarrassed! Sorry to all. Mix up.

Chesterfield is a coat? What the heck.

Can you still buy Chesterfields ( the cigarette) in the States?

So one can sit on the chesterfield wearing his chesterfield while smoking a chesterfield. 

No wonder I got mixed up. 

It's 4-4-oh.   oh-6-oh.  4-6-oh and so on. At least on my railroad.

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, March 04, 2018 2:39 AM

More than fifty years ago, I went to a lecture by the well known British railway author Oswald Stanley Nock.

He always pronounced the "zero" as "naught" in the Whyte system wheel arrangements.

I always use "oh" myself.

Differentiation between the letter "o" and the number "0" really only dates from the use of computers. I recall being told that some portable typewriters lacked a zero key and a capital "O" was used instead.

When the Victorian and South Australian railways created joint a passenger stock, the vehicles were numbered from 01 (zero one) upward. At some stage it was decuided that they should have an alphbetic classification as well, so they were prefixed by a capital "O", Oa for first class, Ob for second class. This suggests to me that the zero and "O" were regarded as interchangeable, to be read in context.

Peter 

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Posted by jeffhergert on Sunday, March 04, 2018 4:29 AM

SD70Dude

 

 
Miningman

In Canada it's ...X, Y,  Zed

In the US it's ....X, Y,  Zee (you guys are weird)

 

 

Fixed it for you.

On CN were are required to pronounce the character "0" as "naught" in radio communications with the RTC.

 

SD70Dude

 

 
Miningman

In Canada it's ...X, Y,  Zed

In the US it's ....X, Y,  Zee (you guys are weird)

 

 

Fixed it for you.

On CN were are required to pronounce the character "0" as "naught" in radio communications with the RTC.

 

The pre-GCOR era rule books used "naught" for zero.  I've used naught or zero in the past, although zero is almost universally used now.  Has the old heads from that era fade away, so do some of the old terms that were once common.

Jeff

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Posted by selector on Sunday, March 04, 2018 12:13 PM

In order to help prevent ambiguity or mis-hearing in the fog of war, especially when communications are rather poor quality, the Canadian military requires one to use specific rules of 'voice procedure' over the air.  If one is going to use a numeral, he/she should say the word 'figures' immediately prior to the number or list of them.  When things go really bad, we shout into the mike "WORDS TWICE, WORDS TWICE..." hoping that much gets through to the intended, and then we literally have to say each word in the syntax twice in succession.  Apparently it solves the problem, but I never had to test it in practice...thank goodness.

I always have used four, four, oh.  Two eight oh.  The radio voice procedure is to use 'zero', but, when we discuss in person our military driver's license, we call the permissions "four oh fours" for the Form DND 404.  Go figger.

We use, in voice procedure, "I spell..." when we attempt to spell out a word for clarity. And, of course, we use the phonetic alpabet, nicknames, arm indicators (Ironsides for the armoured corps tanks and recce vehicle component, Foxtrot for infantry...), and code words for landmarks so that listening enemy won't easily deduce our location.

"Zero, this is Two Two, I spell all after Canada: alpha, lima, bravo, echo, romeo, tango, alpha....over."  It seems ponderous, but it is actually quickly acquired and goes a long way to reducing alpha, mike, bravo, india, golf...oh heck, ambiguity and mishearing.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, March 04, 2018 12:29 PM

That's interesting, Selector.  In the Marines when we had flaky communications we'd shout the phrase  " I SPELL" in the mike and spell out the words using the phonetic alphabet.

For an example, let's use the aforementioned word "oscar."

"I spell, oscar-sierra-charlie-alpha-romeo.  How copy?  Over."  Then the recipiant would read it back for confirmation.

And thank goodness I never had to use that procedure more than once! What a pain! 

Whoops!  I see you updated your post and beat me to the "I spell" punch!

I'll tell you, I hope those kids running around dressed like Marines nowadays have better comm gear than we did!

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Posted by wanswheel on Sunday, March 04, 2018 3:47 PM
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Posted by M636C on Sunday, March 04, 2018 5:40 PM

Train orders were very uncommon in Australia, since the "Staff and Ticket" and Electric Staff systems were used. A turned metal shaft, punched with the name of the section of track was handed to the driver, who had to read it to ensure that it was the correct "staff". These were often attached to cane hoops for manual exchange.

However, the Mount Newman Railway used train orders despatched by radio.

As well as reading it out and reading it back, the number of the locomotive (or the last two digits, since they all started "54" or "55") were spelled out. 

"Cross empty train loco 65 s-i-x f-i-v-e at Garden"

But critically, I can't recall hearing 5500 being called, since it arrived just as the automatic signals were installed. I'm sure it was "zero zero"...

Peter

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, March 04, 2018 8:09 PM

Concerning telephone communication, back when I was occupied from 0730 to 1600 (please note my accommodation to our frigid friendsSmile) five days a week, at times I would listen to a voice mail wherein the caller gave me a telephone number which I could not decode because the caller spoke the number indistinctly and rapidly. 

As to decoding the Whyte system, before I heard anyone speak it, I thought "oh-x-x" when I read it, even at the tender age of 14 or 15.

Johnny

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Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, March 05, 2018 7:53 PM

I learned my Alpha Bravo Charlie's when I had ambitions of being a fighter jock!  Smile, Wink & Grin  How did I know that back then they didn't allow women to fly combat aircraft?  Wink  Oh well, I couldn't pass the physical anyways so my Air Force ambitions didn't go anywhere.  But I can still recite the alphabet!  Smile, Wink & Grin

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, March 05, 2018 10:27 PM

Hiring out on B&O's St. Louis Division as a Train Order Operator - when repeating orders place names and numbers had to be both pronounced and spelled.  Example - No. 1 (one) Eng 1440 (one four four zero) take siding and meet No. 2 (two) Eng 1404 (one four zero four) at Lagootee (L A G O O T E E).

While I was from a railroad family the first several days after I hired out and sat down and listened to the Dispatchers wire I was left wondering what kind of strange language was being spoken.  Remember both the Dispatcher and the other Operators were all experienced and would litterally FLY when putting out and repeating the Train Orders.  After several days my ears and mind began to get the flow and understand what was being said.  A learning experience.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 9:17 AM

What's with "chesterfield" in Canada? I live in Canada and no one I know calls it that. It's a "couch!" 

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 10:18 AM

No, it's a sofa....no WAIT!!!  It's a divan.  That longy thing over there.

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 10:47 AM

Are you sure it is not a settee?

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Posted by John Liebson on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 11:53 AM

Overmod

 No one I ever met in the United States said 'zed'.  That's a Britannicism seen in other ex-Dominions like Oz or EnZed.  It's 'ex,wye,zee' here and long may it stay so; let the French keep their ygrec and such.

And where I come from, Chesterfield is a coat.  And within my living memory people also called that article of furniture a 'divan' or 'davenport' -- more regional fun.

 

 

"zed" is also the pronunciation of the letter `z' in French.

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 6:51 PM

No one I ever met in the United States said 'zed'.  That's a Britannicism seen in other ex-Dominions like Oz or EnZed.

I draw to the attention of my learned friend the Quentin Tarantino movie "Pulp Fiction".

While nothing in that movie even vaguely resembled real life for anyone, there was character who was called "Z", and had a large cutout letter on his key ring.

This was always pronounced "Zed".

The reason for this is when Bruce Willis' character picks up his girlfriend on Zed's motorcycle, she asks "whose bike is this?". Willis replies "Zed's". "Who is Zed?"

And then the reason for the whole thing...

Willis replies "Zed's dead!"

 

Peter

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 10:22 PM

54light15

What's with "chesterfield" in Canada? I live in Canada and no one I know calls it that. It's a "couch!" 

Agree.  I have heard that term used only once:

"MusicMaybe a nice chesterfield or an ottomanMusic"

If I had a million dollars... ...I would hire someone to find out where all these names come from!

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Paul3 on Wednesday, March 07, 2018 1:36 AM

My former nextdoor neighbor was an operator for the New Haven, B&O, and MEC.  He one time talked me through how he read orders back in the day:

"Clearance Form A, 3:05, t-h-r-e-e n-a-u-g-h-t f-i-v-e, PM, March 6 s-i-x, 1956 o-n-e n-i-n-e f-i-v-e s-i-x.  To C&E Baker & England at Attleboro A-T-T-L-E-B-O-R-O, I have 1 o-n-e order for your train..."  Etc.

The dispatcher would read this off to the tower operator, who would then read it back exactly the same way.  If copied correctly, it would then be hooped up to both the engineer and the conductor on the caboose.

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Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, March 07, 2018 10:59 PM

SD70Dude
 
54light15

What's with "chesterfield" in Canada? I live in Canada and no one I know calls it that. It's a "couch!" 

Agree.  I have heard that term used only once

 

Excerpt from A Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles http://www.dchp.ca/dchp2/Entries/view/chesterfield   In the earlier part of the 20th century, the term [Chesterfield] was used as a generic word for couch in many parts of the US, including California, the Upper Midwest and parts of the South... In the US, chesterfield 'couch' remained a regional variant but receded early in the 20th century, while in Canada over the course of the 20th century it became "the standard generic term" for a couch…Chart 1 shows the recessive use of the term in the Greater Toronto Region with data from the early 1990s. By then, people in their twenties would prefer couch…while the older generations prefer chesterfield.

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Posted by wanswheel on Thursday, March 08, 2018 10:59 AM

SD70Dude

"MusicMaybe a nice chesterfield or an ottomanMusic"

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Posted by 54light15 on Thursday, March 08, 2018 4:25 PM

Here's a Brittanicism that has nothing to do with pronunciation. In the film, "The Big Lebowski" when the guys looking for the money bust into the Dude's apartment and one guy micturates on the rug that tied the room together, one guy smashes up the Dude's stuff with a cricket bat. 

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