7 Nov 2013

THE ZERO EXPLANATION ATTEMPT

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

Now I am wrong again ! Last week I wrote for Y (see here) just a letter ahead, and with my personal logic, I continued to be one letter ahead that means I ended this alphabet round one week to early with the letter Z !



Raking my brain for a post with a "Z" word, I had zero ideas, which gave me the idea to write about zero. Which meant I would write about nothing ! But this was a big mistake.

After having learned that zero came via French zéro from Venetian zero, which (together with cypher) came via Italian zefiro from Arabic صفر, ṣafira = "it was empty", ṣifr = "zero", "nothing" which was a translation of the Sanskrit word shoonya (śūnya), meaning "empty",  I was breathless and thought it would become a very difficult post.

Having read about "zero" in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, Islamic world, Greeks and Romans, my general knowledge seemed to be improved, although I have to admit that I nearly fell asleep.

I learned that the first known English use was in 1598, which was rather late compared to the above mentioned countries.

When I started to read the zero use in math, where I had always been a zero at school, I thought that now at vintage age the part of my brain concerning math would have improved, I tried to understand :

Please read zero instead of O

Addition: x + 0 = 0 + x = x. That is, 0 is an identity element (or neutral element) with respect to addition.
Subtraction: x − 0 = x and 0 − x = −x.
Multiplication: x · 0 = 0 · x = 0.
Division: 0⁄x = 0, for nonzero x. But x⁄0 is undefined, because 0 has no multiplicative inverse (no real number multiplied by 0 produces 1), a consequence of the previous rule; see division by zero.

I can understand if you just skip this part.

So I came to the conclusion that for me zero is a person who is a zero in something  like me in maths or if I have 1 Euro and add a zero then suddenly I have ten Euros and if I add even more zeros I would be a rich girl.

I think now I have understood the meaning of zero.





14 comments:

A Lady's Life said...

Too bad we can't just add zeros to our dollars lol We'd never run out of money.

jabblog said...

Fascinating but I got lost in the algebra - all those old feelings of panic surfaced.

Andrew said...

I was very confused until I read the last few lines. That made sense to me.

Wandering Wren said...

I have zero chance of keeping up with the mathematical bits - a very clever post. As you will see from my lack of a post this week I've had zero chance to blog!
Wren x

Along These Lines ... said...

Ms Jenny is going to stand you in the corner for using the wrong letter!

Mara said...

I would like a pay-rise like that!

I was okay at maths at school, even getting a good grade at my final exams! My teacher was so proud!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

zippy little z post...

Loree said...

The more zeros you have the richer you are :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I am a ZERO in math! But I like your explanation and the cartoon.

edenhills said...

What a great idea for the letter z!

diane b said...

hee hee so much to learn about zero.

Linens and Royals said...

A complicated and clever post. I woulds have written about a Zebra to make it easy on myself.

Granny-Guru said...

I was an adult before I learned that 0 had to be invented and was a significant leap forward in math. Strange what we assume has just always been there. Thanks for the history.

Jenny said...

I've got nothing...

Zero, Zip, Zilch...

I'm also a zero at math and 0+0=0...

Thanks for linking to the letter "Z"!

A+