Proposed Verbal Efficiency for Usage of English Language Numbers

Let’s face it. When read aloud, number 7 and number 0 take longer than the other numbers. They both have two syllables while all the other numbers have one. This creates inefficiency for people who work with lots of numbers all the time.

I propose we shorten “seven” to “sen” and “zero” to “zoh” (or “zo” for short). That way, the people who say “oh” instead of “zero” when reading telephone numbers and addresses will be happy, and sen now gets to be as cool as all the other numbers. Then we would read numbers as such:

“Hawaii Five-Zo”
“Beverly Hills, Nine Zo Two One Zo.”
(sung) “Eight Six Sev Five Three Zo Nine”
“James Bond, double-zo sen”
the soft drink, “Sen-Up”
“Boeing Sen-Zo-Sen aircraft”

Plus, think how easy saying zipcodes would be in such places as New York, “One Zo Zo Zo One.” On that zipcode alone you save 37.5% syllable time.

So please, people, save your breath. Let’s give sen and zo another chance.


Author: PhilRW

software engineer, pianist, polymath

4 thoughts on “Proposed Verbal Efficiency for Usage of English Language Numbers”

  1. But…but…but…I like saying Zero. I feel like I sound so much intelligent than people who say “oh”. Now I’ll just sound


  2. I propose we take it further. Eleven should become Len. And the “teen” suffix should be shortened to just “t.” So, Ten, Len, Twelve, Thirt, Fourt, Fift, Sixt, Sent, Eight (ERROR, ERROR, Uh Oh), Nint, Twent. Whaddaya think?


  3. I think teen could be a half syllable “tn.” Ten, Len, Twelve, Thirtn, Fourtn, Firtn, Sixtn, Sentn, Eightn, Nintn, Twent.
    However I’m still rolling around the idea in my head whether we should change it to “sen” or “sev.” Sentn is certainly easier to say than sevtn, but sev may be more distinct. Would people confuse sev with sieve?


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