"Frederick Williams" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message news:4F940CF3.96BA3FAF@btinternet.com... > DonH wrote: > >> (Zero, while a mathematical symbol, is not a number, but denotes the >> absence >> of number?) > > Strictly speaking, if zero is a mathematical symbol, then it is not a > number. But the man in the street speaks (where numerals and numbers > are concerned) of symbols and things symbolized as if they were the > same. > > It is understandable that the ancients found zero hard to understand, > but consider: you have eleven pounds in your bank account and you take > eleven pounds out. Your statement will read > > ... £11 ... > ... £0 ... > > that '0' doesn't indicate absence of number, it indicates absence of > money. >
# This illustrates the need for denoting what it is we are enumerating. Every number should be associated with a physical entity. " '0' doesn't indicate absence of number" - but it does: absence of a number of pounds sterling. Reminds me of an actual case, in which a person was sent a demand for $0 by the IRS. He phone them, and said he didn't owe anything. He got reminder notices, demanding payment, but such ceased when he mailed them his cheque for $0.