7 Nov 2013
THE ZERO EXPLANATION ATTEMPT
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.